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Full text of "History of the War Refugee Board : with selected documents, January 22, 1944 - September 15, 1945"

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January 22, 1944 - September 15, 1945 

War Refugee Board 

Volume 2, Pages 449 •• 940 



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- 449 - 

IX. D 0 C U M E NTS 

- 451 - 




















Allied Force Headquarters 

American Red Cross 

International Committee of the Red Cross 

Greek Liberation Front 

Foreign Economic Administration 

His Majesty' s Government 

International Committee of the Red Cross 
Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees 
International Committee of the Red Cross 

Joint Distribution Committee 

Mediterranean Shipping Board 

Middle East Relief and Refugee Administration 
Ministry of Economic Warfare 

Office of Strategic Services 

Office of War Information 

Prisoner of War 

Schutzhaeftl in ge 

Supreme Headquarters of the Allied 
Expeditionary Forces 


United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation 




World Jewish Congress 

War Refugee Board 

War Shipping Administration 




- 453 - 





WHEREAS it it the policy of this government to take all measures 
within Its power to rescue the victims of enemy oppression who are 
In imminent danger of death and otherwise to afford such victims all 
possible relief and assistance consistent with the successful prosecu¬ 
tion of the war; 

BOV,THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested In me by the 
Constitution and the statutes of the United States, as President of 
the United States and as Commander m Chief of the Army and Navy, and 
in order to effectuate with all possible speed the rescue and relief 
of such victims of enemy oppression, it is hereby ordered as follows: 

1. There is established in the Executive Office of the President 
a Var Refugee Board (hereinafter referred to as the Board). The Board 
shall consist of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury 
and the Secretary of Var. The Board may request the heads of other 
agencies or departments to participate in its deliberations whenever 
matters specially affecting such agencies or departments are under 

2. The Board shall be charged with the responsibility for seeing 
that the policy of the Government, as stated in the Preamble, is car¬ 
ried out. The functions of the Board shall include without limitation 
the development of plans and programs and the inauguration of effective 
measures for (a) the rescue, transportation, maintenance and relief of 
the victims of enemy oppression, and (b) the establishment of havens 

of temporary refuge for such victims. To this end the Board, through 
appropriate channels, shall take the necessary steps to enlist the co¬ 
operation of foreign governments and obtain their participation in the 
execution of such plans and programs, 

3. It shall be the duty of the State, Treasury and Var Depart¬ 
ments, within their respective spheres, to execute at the request of 
the Board, the plans and programs so developed and the measures so 
inaugurated. It shall be the duty of the heads of all agencies and 
departments to supply or obtain for the Board such information and to 
extend to the Board such supplies, shipping and other specified 
assistance and facilities as the Board may require in carrying out the 
provisions of this Order. The State Department shall appoint special 
attaches with diplomatic status, on the recommendation of the Board, 

- 454 - 

to bo stationed abroad in places where it is likely that assistance 
can be rendered to war refugees, the duties and responsibilities of 
such attaches to be defined by the Board in consultation with the 
State Department. 

4. The Board and the State, Treasury and War Departments are 
authorised to accept the services or contributions of any private 
persons, private organisations. State agencies, or agencies of foreign 
governments in carrying out the purposes of this Order. The Board 
shall cooperate with all existing and future international organisa¬ 
tions concerned with the problems of refugee rescue, maintenance, 
transportation, relief, rehabilitation, and resettlement. 

5. To the extent possible the Board shall utilise the personnel, 
supplies, facilities and services of the State, Treasury and War Depart 
ments. In addition the Board, within the limits of funds which may be 
made available, may employ necessary personnel without regard for the 
Civil Service laws and regulations and the Classification Act of 1923, 
as amended, and make provisions for supplies, facilities and services 
necessary to discharge its responsibilities. The Board shall appoint 
an Executive Director who shall serve as its principal executive 
officer. It shall be the duty of the Executive Director to arrange 
for the prompt execution of the plans and programs developed and the 
measures inaugurated by the Board, to supervise the activities of the 
speoial attaches and to submit frequent reports to the Board on the 
steps taken for the rescue and relief of war refugees. 

6. The Board shall be directly responsible to the President in 
carrying out the policy of this Government, as stated in the Preamble, 
and the Board shall report to him at frequent Intervals concerning the 
steps taken for the rescue and relief of war refugees and shall make 
such recommendations as the Board may deem appropriate for further 
action to overcome any difficulties encountered in the rescue and 
relief of war refugees. 




January 22, 1944 


Text of Press Release Issued January 22, 1944 

by the White House Simultane¬ 
ously with Executive Order 
No. 9417, Establishing the 
War Refugee Board. 

The President today, by Executive Order, set.up a War Refugee 
Board consisting of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the 
Treasury and the Secretary of War, to take action for the immediate 
rescue from the Nazis of as many as possible of the persecuted 
minorities of Europe — racial, religious or political —» all 
civilian victims of enemy savagery. 

The Executive Order declares that "it is the policy of this 
Government to take all measures within its power to rescue the vic¬ 
tims of enemy oppression who are in imminent danger of death and 
otherwise to afford such victims all possible relief and assistance 
consistent with the successful prosecution of the war". 

The Board is charged with direct responsibility to the Presi¬ 
dent in seeing that the announced policy is carried out. The 
President indicated that while he would look directly to the Board 
for the successful execution of this policy, the Board, of course, 
would cooperate fully with the Intergovernmental Committee, the 
LYiited Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, and other 
interested international organizations. 

The President stated that he expected to obtain the coopera¬ 
tion of all members of the United Nations and other foreign govern¬ 
ments in carrying out this difficult but important task. He stated 
that the existing facilities of the State, Treasury and Thr Depart¬ 
ments would be employed to aid Axis victims to-the fullest extent 
possible. He stressed that it was urgent that action be taken at 
once to forestall the plan of the Nazis to exterminate all the Jews 
and other persecuted minorities in Europe. 

It will be the duty of a full-time Executive Director of the 
Board to arrange for the prompt execution of the plans and programs 
developed and the measures inaugurated by the Board. 

- 456 - 



BJB february 12, 1944 

This telegram mutt be 

paraphrased before belag 

communicated to anyone 

other than a Governmental 

agency. (BE) 

American Embassy 

Please refer to the Department's 68 January 25 in regard to the 
establishment of the Var Refugee Board. The Acting Executive Director 
of the Board, John If. Pehle, has Informed the Department that in con¬ 
formity with the President's order of January 22, the Board proposes to 
appoint Nr. Ira Hlrschaann, who is now in Turkey in a private capacity, 
as the Acting Special Representative of the Board with the designation 
by the Department as Special Attache to the Imbasey on war refugee 
matters. The President's order provides that the State Department 
shall appoint such Special Attaches on the recommendation of the Board, 
that they shall have diplomatic status, and that their duties and re¬ 
sponsibilities shall be defined by the Board in consultation with the 
State Department. 

If this meets with your approval, you should immediately advise 
Hlrschmann that he lc so designated and that he is to have diplomatic 
status. It is assumed that there will be no objection on the part of 
the Turkish Government to this designation, although you nay in your 
discretion approach the Turkish authorities informally if you consider 
it necessary or advisable to do so. Tou are requested to confirm by 
telegram Hlrschmann's designation or to advise us promptly if there is 
any reason why the designation should not be effective at once. 

Tou should advise Hlrschmann that: 

(a) He is charged with the duty and responsibility of carrying 
out the Board's policies and programs in Turkey; 

(b) He is responsible to the Ambassador and should discuss his 
activities and problems with him regularly and fully; 

(c) The Embassy will provide him with the necessary communications 
facilities in carrying on his official duties; 

(d) He shall extend all possible assistance to the Ambassador in 
carrying out the instructions contained in the Department's reference 

- 457 - 

(•) He shall work with and give all possible assistance to 
public and private agencies operating In Turkey In this field regard¬ 
less of whether such organisations are American, foreign or inter¬ 

(f) He shall develop and assist in the development of programs 
and implementation of measures for the rescue „ transportation, main¬ 
tenance and relief of refugees; 

(g) He shall forward to the Board recommendations and frequent 
reports on progress of work and difficulties encountered; 

(h) In so far as the Trading with the Xneqy Act is concerned, the 
Secretary of the Treasury has vested in the War Refugee Board and its 
representatives in the field full authority to communicate with enemy 
territory to carry out the purposes of the Order, The Secretary of the 
Treasury has also delegated to the War Refugee Board and Its represen¬ 
tatives the power to authorize any public or private agencies, who 

may be subject to the provisions of our Trading with the Ineny Act, to 
comaun!cate with ene^y territory for the purpose of carrying out the 
Order. Hirschmann is authorized to act accordingly. 

After receipt of confirmation of approval of Hirschmann^ desig¬ 
nation further detailed instruction will follow from time to time, in¬ 
cluding instructions concerning fiscal and administrative matters. 



- 458 - 



J kfi.cut.ive Director 

.Length .of .Service 

John W. Pehle 
William C'Dwyer 

General Counsel 

Josiah E. DuBois, Jr. 

Assistant Executive Directors 

Albert Abrahamson 
Joseph B. Friedman 
Florence Hodel 
Lawrence S. Lesser 
James H. Mann 
Ward Stewart 

Special Aeslstant to the 

Executive Director 

Isadore M. Weinstein 
Special Assistants 

January 22, 1944 - 
January 27, 1945 - 

January 22, 1944 - 

February 9, 1944 - 
January 22, 1944 - 
January 22, 1944 - 
January 22, 1944 - 
May 1 , 1944 
January 22, 1944 - 

January 27, 1945 
September 15, 1945 

January 27, 1945 


December 21, 1944 
January 15, 1945 
September 15, 1945 
January 21, 1945 
February 28, 1945 
December 14, 1944 

March 24, 1944 - September 29, 1944 

Anne Laughlin 
Benjamin Akzin 
Paul McCormack 


February 21, 1944 - January 12, 1945 
March 11, 1944 - March 15, 1945 

March 6, 1944 - July 11, 1945 

Matthew Marks January 22, 1944 - January 21, 1945 

Milton Sargoy March 27, 1944 - October 10, 1944 

* Exclusive of clerical and stenographic employees. 

- 459 - 


Length of Service 

Staff Assistant, 

Emanuel Borenstein 

Myles Standish 

June 16, 1944 - September 2, 1944 
March 8, 1944 - November 12, 1944 

Administrative Officer 

David White 

February 26, 1944 - August 31, 1945 

Informati on Specialist 

Kathryn C. Cohn 

March 1, 1944 - September 15, 1945 

Reporter and Correspondence 


Elizabeth B. Towler 

January 22,- 1944 - September 15, 1945 

* # * 

- 460 - 



This telegram must be January 25 , 1944 

paraphrased before being Midnight 

communicated to anyone 
other than a Governmental 
agenqy. (BR) 




The President has instructed the Secretaries of State; Treasury 
and War to take action for the immediate rescue *nd relief of the 
Jews of Europe and other victims of energy persecution. In an execu¬ 
tive order issued January 22 the President declared QUOTE it is the 
policy of this Government to take all measures within its power to 
rescue the victims of enemy oppression who are in imminent danger of 
death and otherwise to afford such victims all possible relief «nH 
assistance consistent with the successful prosecution of the war 
UNQUOTE. The order establishes special governmental machinery for 
executing this policy• It creates a War Refugee Board consisting of 
the Secretaries of State, Treasury and War. The Board is charged with 
direct responsibility to the President in seeing that the announced 
policy is carried out. The President indicated that while he would 
look directly to the Board for the execution of this policy, the 
Board would cooperate with the Intergovernmental Committee, UNRRA, 
and other interested international organizations. The President 
stated that he expected the cooperation of *11 members of the United 
Nations and other governments in carrying out this difficult but im¬ 
portant task. He stated that the existing facilities of the State, 
Treasury and War Departments would be employed to furnish aid to Axis 
victims to the fullest extent possible. He stressed that it was ur¬ 
gent that action be taken to forestall the plot of the Nazis to ex¬ 
terminate the Jews and other persecuted minorities in Europe. 

You should do everything possible to effectuate this policy of 
this Government, bearing in mind that time is of the essence. You 
should cooperate closely with all public and established private 
agencies who are active in your area in this field, aiding them in 
the development of coordinated programs and in the effectuation of 
integrated measures for the rescue, transportation, maintenance and 
relief of victims of enemy oppression, etc. 

The communication facilities should be made freely available to 
these private agencies for all appropriate messages for carrying out 
the policy of this Government herein stated, keeping the War Refugee 
Board advised through the Department. You should give them every 
assistance in obtaining and verifying information. 

You are requested to render an immediate report concerning the 
actual situation as it exists today in the country to which you are 
accredited. This report should include a full statement as to what 


- 461 - 

is being done to rescue the Jews and other persecuted minorities from 
Hitler, including particularly (a) the extent to which these war 
refugees are permitted to enter the country to which you are accredited 
(b) the extent to which such country actually encourages and cooperates 
in their entry and (c) the extent to which such refugees are not able 
to enter such country because of the failure of such country to coop¬ 
erate in their entry* This report should cover actual cases which have 
come to your attention involving refugees being turned back at the 
border and the reasons why such refugees were turned back. You should 
also report periodically on cases of this character which come to your 
attention in t^e future. 

You should include in your report your recommendations as to what 
you feel this Government can do to effectuate with all possible speed 
the rescue and relief of the victims of enemy oppression, including 
particularly what can be done to make the government of the country to 
which you are accredited cooperate more fully in carrying out this 
policy. Your report should cover any special obstacles which you feel 
are interfering with the rescue and relief of these victims and your 
recommendations as to what can be done to remove these obstacles. 

You are requested to approach the Government to which you are 
accredited, explain the policy expressed in the Presidents Executive 
Order referred to above, and ascertain from such Government the extent 
to which it is prepared to cooperate. 

Diplomatic and consular officers are instructed to do everything 
possible to carry out the policy expressed in the Presidents Executive 
Order. This cablegram has been transmitted by telegram or airgram to 
all diplomatic and consular offices. 

Repeat to consular offices unaer your jurisdiction. 




- lb 2 - 



HEL February 29, 1944 



The following airgram is sent at the request of the Presidents 
War Refugee Board: 

Refer to Departments cable of January 25 concerning the Presi¬ 
dents Executive Order establishing the War Refugee Board and declar¬ 
ing the policy of this Government. 

In discussing this matter with the Foreign Office of the govern¬ 
ment to which you are accredited, you are requested to make it clear 
that the establishment of the War Refugee Board represents this 
Governments determination effectively to carry out without delay the 
policy to take all possible measures for the speedy rescue and relief 
of the refugees of Europe. 

Although this Government on its part intends to take all pos¬ 
sible action with all possible speed, we feel certain that this 
effort will not be unilateral and we wish to make it clear that it 
continues to be the policy of this Government to encourage and partic¬ 
ipate in effective cooperative efforts with other governments. 

As the President has stated, the Board of course will cooperate 
fully with all interested international organizations. 

You are requested to make clear to the Government to which you 
are accredited the position of this Government and our desire for its 
cooperative action. You should explore with the appropriate officials 
of the Foreign Office the possibility of implementing such cooperation 
through the issuance by their Government of a declaration of policy 
similar to that made by the President and the issuance by the Foreign 
Office of instructions to its representatives in other countries com¬ 
parable to the instructions contained in the Department 1 s telegram of 
January 25* 

Please keep us informed on this matter. 



- Abj - 







Allocation No. 44-58 


January 29, 1944 

Iky dear Mr. Secretary: 

By virtue of the authority vested in me by law I hereby allocate 
from the appropriation entitled "Emergency Fund for the President, 
National Defense, 1942-1944," 



War Refugee Board 


to be expended by said Board in connection with emergencies affecting 
the national security and defense for carrying out the functions of 
the Board as prescribed by Executive Order 9417 of January 22, 1944. 

The fund8 hereby allocated shall be available, without regard to 
Section 3709 of the Revised Statutes (41 U.S.C. 5), for all necessary 
expenses of the War Refugee Board in carrying out Executive Order 
9417, including employment of persons (including aliens) or organ¬ 
izations, by contract or otherwise, in the District of Columbia and 
elsewhere without regard to the civil service and classification 
laws; acceptance and utilization of voluntary and uncompensated 
services; transportation expenses outside the United States without 
regard to the Standardized Government Travel Regulations; actual 
transportation and other necessary expenses, and not to exceed $10 
per diem in lieu of subsistence, of persons serving while away from 
their permanent homes or regular places of business in an adivsory 
capacity to or employed by the Board without other compensation 
from the United States; purchase and exchange of law books and books 
of reference; purchase of or subscription to newspapers and peri¬ 
odicals; purchase of food, clothing, and medical supplies within or 
outside the United States; cash payments to and for the benefit of 
victims of war, without the necessity for cash receipts where 
receipts are not obtainable; purchase, without regard to statutory 
limitations as to price, maintenance, operation, repair, and hire 
of motor-propelled or horse-drawn trucks and passenger-carrying 
vehicles; payment of premiums on fidelity or other bonds for employ¬ 
ees or others engaged in carrying out the purposes hereof; advances 
of monies without regard to Section 3648 of the Revised Statutes 
(31 U.S.C. 529); exchange of funds without regard to Section 3651 
of the Revised Statutes (31. U.S.C. 543); printing and binding 
without regard to Section 11 of the Act of March 1, 1919 (44 U.S.C. 
Ill); and the reimbursement of other appropriations from which 
payment may have been made for the purposes hereof: Provided . That 

- 464 - 

not to exceed $500,000 of the funds hereby allocated shall be 
available for objects of a confidential nature and shall be charged 
against the limitation for such purposes under said appropriation, 
and shall be accounted for solely on the certificate of the 
Executive Director of the Board. 

Please arrange for the necessary transfer of funds and advise 
the War Refugee Board accordingly. 

Sincerely yours, 


The Honorable 

The Secretary of the Treasury 



FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: American Embassy, Ankara 

DATED: February 26, 1944 

NUMBER: 147 


The following, for your information and guidance, is the sub¬ 
stance of a letter sent to the Secretary of State on September 9, 

1943 1 ty the British Embassy in Washington. The British Embassy has 
recently transmitted a copy of this letter to me. 

Recently it was decided by the Government of Great Britain that 
all Jews, in the future, whether children or adults, who managed to 
leave Axis dominated territories and entered Turkey since the border 
between Bulgaria and Turkey was closed last Spring, will be permitted 
(after a check for security purposes in Turkey) to go to Palestine 
where camps will be provided for them and where for security reasons, 
they will be checked further. If found satisfactory, they will be 
gradually released as legal immigrants and will be permitted to enter 
Palestine against the naif-yearly current immigration quotas. The 
method of transporting these Jewish persons will be either by sea or 
rail as may be decided upon by cooperation between the diplomatic 
mission involved and the Government of Great Britain. 

Jews who are able to enter other countries which are neutral 
will also be in this category, but those persons who escape to ter¬ 
ritories where they find a refuge of safety will, under normal cir¬ 
cumstances, not leave there. Under these arrangements, Jews who axe, 
at the present time, in Spain, Mauritius or Cyprus will not leave 
there (excepting if, in the case of Spain, plans may be made to trans¬ 
port them to Allied Government territory in North Africa, as is hoped, 
for such time as hostilities shall continue) and onward passage to 
Palestine would be considered only in cases deserving special consid¬ 
eration and for more particular reasons. 

It is not intended that the number of persons, for the period 
ending March 31, 1944> admitted to Palestine under the proposals out¬ 
lined above shall increase the total number of Immigrants allowable 
for that period. 

It is most essential that secrecy be maintained concerning these 
proposals and His Majesty^ Government contemplates no public announce¬ 
ment of them. However, in strict confidence, the Palestinian Jewish 
Agency will be advised of the plans. 

- 466 - 

To Mr. Myron C. Taylor at Washington, D* a letter similar 
to this one is being written. It is assumed in. view of the policy 
indicated in the letter, that the Turkish Government now has suf¬ 
ficient assurances that refugees entering Turkey will have an ulti¬ 
mate destination open to them and will be willing therefore to lend 
full cooperation in measures designed to increase the flow of refu¬ 
gees through Turkey. However, if such is not the case you should 
immediately advise the Board. 

In the interest of the refugees themselves, you should respect 
the British request that this policy be kept confidential. 

This message from Pehle for Hirschmann. 



- 467 - 




• EWE 

This telegram must be 

February 25, 1944 
7 p.m. 

paraphrased before being 
communicated to anyone 
other than a Government 
agency. (SC-00) ' 




For the Ambassador and Hirschman. 

Departments 68, January 25, concerning War Refugee Board and 
120 of February 12, 8 p.m., concerning appointment Special Attache 

Special attention should be given to the following matter. 

The War Refugee Board has resolved that one of the projects 
which should be pushed with greatest speed is an effort to facilitate 
the evacuation of as many refugees as possible from occupied areas to 

The Board feels that the most feasible way of accomplishing this 
extremely urgent task is to obtain from the Turkish Government effec¬ 
tive measures to encourage the entiy of more refugees. Concretely 
that government should be requested (a) to relax border and other con¬ 
trols and take such other action as will facilitate the entry of the 
largest possible number of refugees from Bulgaria, Rumania, and other 
"areas adjacent to the Black Sea, and (b) to make an announcement in as 
nearly an official manner as possible indicating what is being done, 
and above all, that entry of refugees into the country is permitted. 

* The Department desires to support the above program of the Board 
and you are requested at the earliest possible moment to approach the 
Turkish Government with a view to obtaining their agreement to the plan 
and immediate action on their part. In addition to making clear this 
Governments determination to do everything within its power to rescue 
refugees and its hope for full cooperation from the Turkish Government 
you may, if you deem it advisable, indicate that (a) the Wax Refugee 
Board is prepared to take ail possible measures, financial and other¬ 
wise, to aid the evacuation of refugees to Turkey; (b) the Board is 
prepared to render full assistance in the maintenance of refugees in 
Turkey; and (c) if the Turkish Government takes necessary steps to 
facilitate the entry of a substantial number of refugees the Board 

- 468 - 

will make all efforts to move refugees from Turkey to other places if 
such action becomes desirable. You may wish to discuss specifically 
the possibility of setting up camps in Turkey in which refugees enter¬ 
ing the country could live. The Board would, if necessary, make ar¬ 
rangements for financing the establishment and maintenance of these 
camps and the support of the refugees in them. This plan may facili¬ 
tate the removal, on a compulsory basis if necessary, of refugees from 
Turkey to other places if such action becomes desirable*in order to 
permit the entry of more refugees into Turkey from occupied areas. 

In connection with the foregoing, you are, of course, aware of 
the fact tnat the refugees remaining in Transnistria are in imminent 
danger of extermination by the retreating German armies, and that the 
evacuation of these refugees is a problem of the greatest urgency. 
Accordingly, you should do every thing possible to aid in the develop¬ 
ment and execution of measures to effect the evacuation of these 
people to Turkey. Various private organizations are deeply interested 
in this problem and are anxious to assist in financing and otherwise 
carrying out the project. Representatives of at least some of such 
organizations in Turkey have been requested to get in touch at once 
with Mr. Hirschmann for the purpose of formulating a plan of action. 

You have previously indicated that the basic difficulty of evacuation 
is one of transportation. The private organizations interested in 
this project are making all efforts to secure ships and you should 
give them every assistance. In addition, you should advise us promptly 
of any measures which can be taken by the United States Government to 
see that necessary shipping, neutral or otherwise, is available. Above 
all, you should attempt to secure the full cooperation of the Turkish 
Government in this matter. 

Efforts should, of course, also be made as soon as possible to 
increase the flow of refugees from Rumania to Turkey. 

The Department appreciates that your own activities regarding 
this matter may be somewhat restricted by the terms of the Departments 
103, February 7, 7 p.m., and that it may be necessary for you to arrange 
for Hirschmann to take the principal initiatives. You should use your 
best judgment in this regard. You will realize, however, that these 
negotiations are on an entirely different level than those relative to 
Turkeys role in the war; and that this Government is simply addressing 
a humanitarian appeal to the Turkish Government, as to other govern¬ 
ments, rather than a request that they take certain action favorable to 
us at some sacrifice to them. 

Please report to the Department the progress that it is being made 
in this matter, indicating the practical measures that will be neces¬ 
sary to put the plan in operation, obstacles encountered, and such 
action as you think the Government of the United States should take to 
facilitate the operation. 




- .'/>0 _ 




FROM; American Embassy, Ankara 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: March 4, 1944 

NUMBER: 338 


Following for Pehle from Hirschmann. 

There arrived today in Istanbul the firet group of Jewish children 
from Bulgaria and on Monday they leave for Aleppo by train for Jerusa¬ 

Bulgarian and Gestapo officials and bureaucratic delays held up 
certificates of release for these children for 8 months. It is our 
belief that this constitutes the beginning of a fairly continuous move¬ 
ment of children provided new obstacles do not interfere. We were as¬ 
sured todsy by Turkish authorities that they have issued instructions 
for 140 children with 10 adults to pass from Rumania through Turkey in 
two groups of 73 each every 10 days until further notice. 

In the last 10 days ninety refugees came from Bulgaria via Istanbul 
to Palestine in addition to the above. Furthermore, seventy-four refu¬ 
gees came to Izmir from Greece. The stoppage in refugee movement 
through Turkey which had existed Since the first of January has been 
overcome. We are now directing our efforts towards increasing the 
movement. We are hopeful of obtaining steadily increasing results 
with the War Refugee Board's continuing uncompromising support of our 
daily efforts. Moreover, a solution in Turkey of a more difficult and 
complex situation than can possibly be understood in Washington could 
serve as a formula for other parts of the world where similar humani¬ 
tarian efforts are being made by the Board. 

This morning Ambassador Steinh&rdt was notified by the Foreign 
Office that the immediate charter of the SS VATAN for a single voyage 
from constanza was approved in principle by the Foreign Office and 
that the earliest possible moment tne matter would be submitted with 
a favorable recommendation to the Council of Ministers (the equivalent 
of our cabinet) without the approval of which no vessel may be chartered 

The Ambassador was further informed by the Foreign Office that 
they had taken this action as a personal courtesy to him subject to 
the understanding that if the vessel is desired for additional trips 
it will be necessary for the Ambassador to discuss with the Foreign 
Office reimbursement for the financial los3 resulting from the Turkish 
Government's continued sacrifice of one of the very few ships which it 
has available for carrying its products. 

- 470 - 

It is estimated by us that on each trip the SS VATAN should be 
able to carry a mA-ximim of eight-hundred and a minimum of six-hundred 
refugees. As yet we have received no information concerning changes 
which may have to be made in the vessel to accommodate passengers 
since it is a freighter. A substantial agreement has been reached 
with the owner as regards the charter price. However, there will be 
the matter of obtaining from the Russian and German Governments safe 
conduct for the vessel and attempts to obtain this through Geneva are 
being made by the International Red Cross representative here. In¬ 
formation regarding the progress of this matter will be sent to you. 


- 471 - 



This telegram must be 
paraphrased before being 
communicated to anyone 
other than a Governmental 
agency. (ER) 

Secretary of State 

282, February 18, 11 a.m. 

For John Pehle Director of War Refugee Board 
from RLrschmann. 

I am gradually getting a picture of some of the possibilities 
and of the enormous difficulties facing our work. Although the Turks 
express themselves as sympathetic thus far they have been helpful only 
to a limited extent. They /sic7 may be due to some of the circumstances 
recited below. In dealing with the Turks I shall rely entirely on 
Ambassador Steinhardt who enjoys their full confidence. 

Bulgaria through which almost all refugees from Europe and the 
Balkans must pass in transit to Turkey or beyond has for quite some 
time past been withholding transit visas for those coming from other 
parts of Europe and the Balkans and withholds exit visas from Jews re¬ 
siding iii Bulgaria. In the past fomight only one Jewish family suc¬ 
ceeded in leaving Bulgaria and reaching Istanbul. 

While I hoped that we would not have to avail ourselves immedi¬ 
ately of the special authority to deal with the enemy I feel that you 
in Washington and we here will be compelled to use this means. 

The Satellite countries namely Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria are 
most anxious to whitewash themselves in the eyes of the Allies- We 
must exploit this anxiety at once. We must bring every pressure brought 
to bear through neutral agencies or any other means at your disposal, 
as well as by direct contact with the representative of the above men¬ 
tioned satellites. They must be given to understand in no uncertain 
terms that unless they take immediate steps which will facilitate our 
work the Allies will look upon them as real enemies who are fully col¬ 
laborating with the Nazis in their work of extermination and that this 
will be held against them when the war is over. It should be made clear 
to them that no apologies or extenuations will be accepted. I expect to 
telegraph you more fully about the Bulgarian bottle /vicj in a few days. 

I think it would be helpful if you would call on the Turkish Am¬ 
bassador in Washington to request of him that he cable his government 
the determination of the United States Government to carry out its 
rescue program with all energy and resources and that immediate aid on 
the part of the Turkish Government will be highly evaluated. 


DATED: February 18, 1944 
REC’D: 2:24 a.m., 19th 

- 472 - 

1 am informed that in view of the Bulgarian impasse the Jewish 
agency officially dealing with transportation of Jewish refugees from 
the Balkans has extreme difficulties with land route bottlenecked in 
Bulgaria. They obtained promise of provisional charter for S.3. VATAN 
3,700 tons owned by Kalkawan Riza Turkish shipowner who is willing to 
take her with Turkish /alq/ to Constanza to bring out to Istanbul 800 
to 1,000 refugees, mainly children from Transnistria whom Rumanians 
are at present willing to release, but who may at any moment be in 
danger of starvation and death, international Red Cross promises to 
procure safe conduct for this ship from all belligerent powers con¬ 
cerned. The Turkish Government fully controls all private shipping 
and is faced with extreme transport difficulties of its own. It re¬ 
fuses to permit owner to enter into Charter Agreement because of 
danger of loss of ship even when under safe conduct as has occurred. 

To over come anxiety as to possible loss of ship, we strongly 
urge immediate offer of guarantee by the United States to the Turkish 
Government to replace ship. Will you cable us authority to offer this 
specific guarantee of ship replacement immediately from nearest waters 
which please designate in your reply in order to reopen negotiations 
on thi9 question of Turkish ship. Have reasons to believe that this 
guarantee would offer basis for reopening question. As an alternative 
there are Swedish ships carrying food from Canada to Greece under the 
auspices of Swedish Red Cross. The exact number is unknown here. Com¬ 
plete information on this is available only at Stockholm which I sug¬ 
gest you procure at once. These empty Swedish ships could possibly 
proceed from Greece to Constanza and transport some refugees. Turkish 
officials suggest this alternative plan. We prefer first plan as it 
would save time in a situation which can disintegrate quickly. Also 
once this ship is allowed the first voyage and accomplishes voyage 
successfully we can work to continue these trips to save additional 

Please also explore at once the possible use of other neutral 
ships from Portugal or Sp a in. The point is that we must under all 
circumstances get a ship at once. 

Please advise. 


- 473 - 








executive director february 23, 1944 


Attached is a cable received from Hirechmann, representative of 
the War Refugee Board in Turkey who was appointed pursuant to the 
President's Executive Order of January 22 declaring that it is the 
policy of this Government to take all measures within ite power 
consistent with the successful prosecution of the war to rescue the 
victims of enemy oppression who are in imminent danger of death. 

Tou will note that Hirschmann indicates that it is possible to 
rescue 800 to 1,000 refugees, mainly children, from Transnistrla who 
are in danger of starvation and death if the charter of the S. S. TATAH 
owned by Kalkawan Ri*a, Turkish shipowner, can be obtained at once. 

It appears that the Turkish Government refuses to permit the owner to 
enter into the charter because of the danger of the lose of the ship. 
The International Bed Cross has promised to secure safe conduct of 
this ship from all the belligerent powers concerned. Hirschi»nn in¬ 
dicates that if we could offer to the Turkish Government a guarantee to 
* he 8hi P if lost, there are good reasons to believe that the 
Turkish Government might permit the use of the ship for the purpose 


- 474 - 










Pebruary 23* 1944 

Mr. John ¥. Pehle 
Acting Executive Director 
War Refugee Board 
Washington* D.O. 

Dear Sir: 

This le In reply to your memorandum of Pebruary 23* attaching a 
copy of the cable received from Hirschmann* representative of the War 
Refugee Board In Turkey. 

In said cable it is Indicated that If the United States can offer 
to the Turkish Government a guaranty to replace the vessel referred to 
therein* If the ease is lost* It Is believed that the Turkish Governnent 

might permit the use of the ship for the purposes Indicated. 

The War Shipping Administration may* as a lend lease transaction* 
with the approval of the foreign Iconomlc Administration* replace this 
vessel if the same Is lost* with a vessel as similar and from as nearby 

waters as may be available. The War Shipping Admlnstration will replace 

the vessel under those circumstances and you are authorised to commit 
this Administration to such a replacement plan. It is understood that 
before the vessel Is actually replaced* the consent of the foreign 
Economic Administration will be obtained and the War Shipping Adminis¬ 
tration will be reimbursed for the reasonable value of any vessel de¬ 
livered as a replacement. 

Sincerely yours* 



2.S. Land 

- 475 - 







Washington 25, D.C* 

February 24, 1944 

Mr. John W. Pehle 
Acting Executive Director 
War Refugee Board 
Washington, D. C. 

Dear Mr. Pehle: 

I am enclosing for your information & copy of a letter sent 
to the War Shipping Administrator in which the Foreign Economic 
Administration has assured the War Shipping Administration that if 
the S. S. Vatan is chartered for the War Refugee Board the vessel 
may be replaced under lend-le&se authority upon the request of the 
Turkish Government and that the War Shipping Administration will be 
reimbursed by the Foreign Economic Administration for the reasonable 
value of the replacement vessel. 

Very truly yours. 


Leo T. Crowley 

- 476 - 





^Enclosure No. 1 to letter from 
the Foreign Economic Administration^ 

February 24, 1944 

Honorable EnOry S. Land 

War Shipping Administration 
Washington 25, D. C. 

Dear Admiral Land: 

We have seen a copy of your letter of February 23, 1944, to 
Mr. John W. Pehle, Acting Executive Director of the War Refugee 
Board and a cable dated February 18, 1944, from Mr. Hirschmann, 
representative of the War Refugee Board in Turkey to Mr. Pehle, con¬ 
cerning the chartering of the S. S. Vatan, a Turkish vessel, for use 
in rescuing refugees. 

According to Mr. Hirschmann, it is believed that the Turkish 
Government will permit the S. S. Vatan to be chartered for the pur¬ 
pose of transporting refugees providing that the United States can 
offer to the Turkish Government a guaranty that this vessel will be 
replaced if it is lost while under charter. We understand that the 
War Shipping Administration has authorized Mr. Pehle, subject to ap¬ 
proval by the Foreign Economic Administration, to commit it to re¬ 
place this vessel, in the event of its loss, with a vessel as similar 
and from as nearby waters as may be available. We understand further 
that you wish assurance both that lend-lease authorization for such 
a replacement will be forthcoming and that lend-lease funds will be 
made available to the War Shipping Administration for reimbursement 
for the reasonable value of ary vessel delivered as replacement. 

The Foreign Economic Administration concurs in the desirability 
of effectuating the charter of the S. S. Vatan for the purpose 
mentioned and is prepared to give assurance both that upon the re¬ 
quest of the Turkish Government, this vessel may be replaced under 
lend-lease authority, and that in such a case you will be reimbursed 
for the reasonable value of any vessel which you may deliver as a 
replacement. All questions between ourselves and the Turkish Govern¬ 
ment, however, as to the terms of replacement are reserved. 

Very truly yours, 


Leo T. Crowley 

- 477 - 




This telegram Butt be 
paraphrased before being 

February 25, 1944 
4 p. m. 

communicated to anyone 
other than a Governmental 
agency. (30-00) 




Safer your 282, february 18, and your 299, Jebruary 19. 

The United Statee Government through the War Shipping Administra¬ 
tion and the foreign Sconomic Administration guarantees to replace the 
vessel referred to in your 282 if the same is lost. Although we can 
not furnish you with an exact description at this time of any specific 
▼essel which will be used as a replacement, the Turkish Government may 
be assured that this Tassel will be as good or better than the S.S. 

TAT AH and that it will be obtained from as nearby waters as possible. 

It is assumed that the S.8. TATAR will be Insured against loss 
thus enabling the proceeds of the insurance to be used in connection 
with the replacement, for your information, the War Refugee Board can, 
if necessary, arrange for the insurance of the S.S. TATAH. 

The foreign Sconomic Administration has advised us that their 
representative in Ankara, Michel Cardosa, can be of assistance to you 
in effecting necessary arrangements with the Turkish Government. 

for your information and the information of Cardosa, we have been 
advised that if the S.S. TAT AN is actually replaced, the replacement will 
be done under lend lease authority and could be done in one of two ways. 
Either the replacing vessel could be turned over as a normal lend lease 
transaction or could be sold to the Turkish Government for cash. 

It is expected that you will take this opportunity to emphasize 
to the Turkish Government the significance of the concrete offers which 
this Government has already made to them In connection with the program 
of the Var Befugee Board. In addition to the present guaranty to re¬ 
place the S.S.. TATAs if lost in connection with the carrying out of 
this program, we have previously offered to arrange for financing the 
support and maintenance of refugees coming into Turkey. We hope that 
the Turkish Government will accordingly make the S.S. TATAV immediately 
available for this mission of mercy. 





- 47P - 


Secretary of State 
380, March 3, 5 p.m. 

Be your cable Ho, 146 of February 26, 1944, 

Judging from telegrams which 1 have received and sdso Birsc haann , 
it appears that the War Refugee Board is under the mistaken impression 
that the principal obstacle to date has been the Turkish Government 1 e 
reluctance to cooperate. This is not so. Our greatest obstacle to 
date has been the Axis authorities in the Balkans who refuse to grant 
exit visas to Jewish refugees. Although transportation is, of course, 
a serious problem, it is not impossible to solve it so long me it is 
possible to bring about the departure of Jewish refugees f*oa the 
Balkans in increasing numbers, 

in regard to sea transportation, negotiations have been entered 
into with the Minister of Communications with whom I conferred yester¬ 
day, We discussed the proposed purchase of the S,3,IXCAT by the War 
Refugee Board at a cost of approximately $400,OCX), it is contemplated 
that the ship will be given as a gift to the Turkish Bed Crescent 
after the completion of the transfer to Palestine of 5,000 Jewish 
refugee children from Roumanla under the auspices of the International 
Red Cross. The purchase price of this vessel is estimated to amount 
to the same sum as it would cost to carry the 5,000 children on a 
chartered vessel. We are hopeful that if this ship is donated to 
the Turkish Red Crescent, that society may be persuaded to continue 
to use the vessel to carry additional refugees after the completion 
of the transfer of these 5,000. 

Re evacuation of Jewish refugees from Roumanian or Bulgarian 
ports, the Turkish representatives are amenable to reopening nego¬ 
tiations relating to the chartering of the 8,8, TATAR, provided that 
such negotiations are conducted on the basis of the guarantee of re¬ 
placement of such vessel in case of loss. I have made such a guarantee 
to the Turkish Government in writing, 

I strongly urge that a Swedish vessel, particularly if there ie 
one in Near Eastern waters, be chartered at once by the War Refugee 
Board and sent to Istanbul as soon as possible. The negotiations for 
the 3,8, TATAR and the 8,3. BOAT are likely to be bogged down for a 
long time, as is customary in the carrying on of negotiations in this 
part of the world. 

Re rail transportation, the Turkish authorities have granted 
transportation visas for 5,000 Jewish refugees on their way to Pales¬ 
tine but until now, because of the reluctance of the authorities in the 




March 3, 1944 
Rac'd 4:56 p.i 


- 4*79 - 

Axis occupied countries to grant exit visas and because of administrative 
delays, only a small portion of such transit visa© have been utilised, 
Bulgaria has very recently relaxed somewhat the restrictions which 
hithertofore have prevented departure of Jewish refugees, it is hoped 
therefore that unless new obstacles are encountered, it will be possible 
to increase the refugee movements to a large degree, in the near future. 

The Turkish authorities have authorised the Issuance of many more 
transit visa© and also have offered to provide rail transportation facil¬ 
ities for many more persons than have been utilised until now. They 
are of the opinion that until the visa and rail facilities already of¬ 
fered have been utilised, it serves no useful purpose to discuss the 
possibility of additional visas and rail facilities or the establishment 
of refugee camps. The Turkish authorities have assured me that when 
the visa and railway facilities already offered have been utilised they 
will be prepared to enter into negotiations for a further increase in 
such facilities. 

This whole subject matter has been discussed thoroughly with the 
Minister of Communications, the Foreign Office and other high Turkish 
officials. I felt free to do this in view of the Department's opinion 
that these discussions are unrelated to the Turkish role in the war. 

The policy of this Government, of which the War Refugee Board is an 
instrument, has been made very clear to the Turkish authorities and I 
have felt free to press them for the most complete cooperation. 

In the short time that he ha 9 been here Hirechmaun has acquired a 
complete grasp of the situation and is extremely active and diligent. 

It is ny opinion that in the past two weeks considerable progress has 
been made. 


- 430 - 




FROM: American Embassy, Ankara 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: March 15, 1944 

NUMBER: 455 


From Hirschmann for the attention of Pehle. 

This morning Ambassador Steinh&rdt and the Foreign Minister held 
a personal conference and as a result the latter definitely committed 
the Turk Government to making available to the Ambassador as a personal 
courtesy a Turk passenger vessel with a capacity for carrying 1500 
people, to make a single trip as soon as possible, to and from Con- 
stanza to evacuate refugees of Jewish nationality. I have been in¬ 
formed by the Ambassador that the Foreign Minister gave the necessary 
instructions in his presence to the Minister of Communications by 
telephone. As they are both cargo vessels, it would appear from the 
Minister*s promise of a passenger vessel that neither the VATAN nor 
the NECAT will be used. Valuable time will be saved by placing a 
passenger instead of a cargo vessel at our disposal as refitting of a 
cargo vessel for passenger service in this area would involve inordin¬ 
ate delay in view of shortage of material and labor available for that 

The Ambassador was informed by Numan that as the vessel being 
placed at nis disposal was one of the very few ships available to the 
Turk Government for its vital commerce it could not continue to 
evacuate refugees from Balkan ports after the trip in question unless 
the United States Government made available to the Turk Government a 
substitute vessel by the time of termination of the initial trip. It 
was categorically stated by him that if the United States Government 
would make a ship available on a loan basis to the Turk Government by 
the time the initial trip is completed, he would put it in operation 
to carry Turk commerce after placing the Turk flag on the vessel so 

By this means he would be permitting the vessel assigned to us for 
the initial trip to make further trips to Balkan ports* to evacuate refu¬ 
gees, but that failing, a substitute vessel only as in the voyage to 
and from Constanza could be permitted. Because of the desperate situa¬ 
tion in which the Turk Government finds itself for lack of ships, he 
added that no amount of money could be accepted in lieu of a substitute 
vessel and that if we desired the ship about to be made available to 
us to make repeated trips it would be necessary, as soon as possible, 
to provide a substitute vessel. Numan referred to the fact that even 

a single voyage to and from Constanza represented a genuine sacrifice 
on the part of the Turk Government. If the representatives of the In¬ 
ternational Ked Cross encountered new difficulties in regard to obtain¬ 
ing safe conduct for the vessel, the Foreign Minister agreed, at the 
conclusion of their talk, to intervene with the German Ambassador in 

The foregoing information has been communicated to Simond, of the 
International Red Cross who is at once taking up the matter of safe 
conduct for the vessel with the belligerents. 

Barlas of the Jewish agency has also been informed by me of the 
imperative necessity of having the refugees available at the port of 
Constanza on the arrival of the vessel so that there may be no undue 

Incumbent upon us is the burden to continue this Turk vessel in 
regular operation for the evacuation of refugees by the prompt loan to 
the Turk Government of an American vessel in substitution therefor, as 
we have now reached a point at which the Turk Government has given 
evidence of its willingness to cooperate by placing one of the very few 
vessels available to it at our disposal for the first trip. After the 
first trip has been completed by a Turk vessel it will be (*) if not 
impossible to persuade the Turk Government that the United States 
Government with its large merchant fleet and construction of over 
1,500,000 tons per month is not in a position to provide one vessel 
of 6,000 to 7,000 tons to evacuate refugees which it desires to rescue. 

I have no doubt that such a vessel would be made available promptly if 
it were possible for an American vessel to proceed to Constanza. 
Satisfactory explanation to the Turk Government why an American vessel 
unable to proceed to Constanza should not be placed at the disposal of 
the Turkish Government while its vessel undertakes the regular and 
continued evacuation of the refugees, would for this reason be difficult. 


* Apparent omission. 




PROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: American Embassy, Ankara 

DATED: March 24, 1944 

NUMBER: 260 



From the War Refugee Board for the Ambassador and Hirschmann. 

Refer your Ho. 501 March 21. Tou are authorised to enter into 
charter party for S.S. TARI at price indicated. Place insurance in 
Turkey. Advise us total amount of funds needed for charter and in¬ 
surance and form in which such funds should be remitted. 

Although the price indicated seems to be almost double that at 
which other neutral vessels have been chartered, it is assumed that 
you have consulted with Myron Black who has had much experience in 
similar negotiations and that you feel that we cannot do better under 
the circumstances. 

Tou are also authorised to confirm to the Turkish Government that 
the guarantee of replacement given in the case of S.S. VATAN is ap¬ 
plicable to S.S. TARI. That is if the S.S. TARI is lost on the pro¬ 
jected voyage the United States Government will replace her with a 
cargo vessel of comparable tonnage and age. 

It is assumed that there is some assurance that when the voyage 
is undertaken there will be refugees available for evacuation. In 
view of your estimate as to possible duration of voyage, it is also 
assumed that the Board's liability under the charter will not be un¬ 
limited as to time. 



- 433 - 



Secretary of State, Washington 
Amembassy, Ankara 
March 23, 1944 


The following it War Refugee Board'• no, 10 for hlrecfcwann and con¬ 
cerns the natter of obtaining shipping for evacuating refugee® from the 
Balkans referred to in your cables no. 455, 458, 471 and 472. 

A request is being made of the Swiss Government to support in its 
own name the efforts which the international Red Cross is making to 
obtain safe conduct for the S.S. TARI which has been placed at your 
disposal to evacuate Jewish refugees from Constanza. Also the Swiss 
Government and international Red Cross have been informed by us that 
this Government agrees to whatever safeconduct the British grants. 

We have had discussions with War Shipping Administration with 
respect to the proposal that a substitute vessel be made available 
by this Government so that repeated voyages to evacuate refugees may 
be made by the S.S. TARI. War Shipping Administration has cabled 
Myron Black requesting further information as to one, the type of ves¬ 
sel needed and where it will trade; two, information as to whether the 
vessel will be considered by the eneny as a Turkish vessel if it is to 
trade in enery controlled areas and also whether safe conduct will be 
needed. Information has been received by us to the effect that sym¬ 
pathetic consideration will be given by War Shipping Administration 
to such recommendations as Black may make even if they involve prac¬ 
tical difficulties. However, War Shipping Administration believes 
that the situation could be best handled by treating it as a problem 
of allocation by which an attempt could be made to work out an arrange¬ 
ment by which the use of Turkish ships would be conserved through 
making equivalent space available on an Allied vessel proceeding to a 
port in the Eastern Mediterranean. War Shipping Administration is 
also sending a cable to Kallock, their representative in Algiers, 
asking that they be informed whether there is available in the Medit¬ 
erranean any small freighter which could be used under charter by the 
Government of Turkey. 

In cooperation with Black you should investigate all the possib¬ 
ilities of this situation. Whatever plan is finally proposed must be 
one involving the least delay since time is most essential in view of 
the military situation. War Shipping Administration has pointed out 
the practical difficulties regarding the obtaining, without delay, of 
a ship now available in the Mediterranean which could be chartered to 





the Turkish Government for the above mentioned purpose. 

We will be glad to do whatever we can to carry out whatever re¬ 
commendation you may make after all the difficulties involved have 
been considered by you and Black. Should the first voyage of the 

S.S. TABI be completed within a short period of time, you will realise 
that an attempt actually to supply the Turkish Government with a ves¬ 
sel by that time would encounter considerable difficulties. Taking 
into consideration the shipping.situation, we believe that a much more 
feasible arrangement would be to reach an agreement, if possible, with 
the Government of Turkey whereby this Government would give assurances 
that should the S.S. TABI be made available say for a period of three 
months| there would be made available to the Turkish Government equiv¬ 
alent space on an Allied vessel for a comparable length of time not 
however necessarily concurrent with the period during which the 

S.S. TARI would be used. 

With respect to the suggested purchase of the S.S. NECAT for 
donation to the Turkish Bed Crescent, it has been indicated by the 
Government of Turkey that it would not be possible to withdraw a 
second vessel from those at the disposal of that Government. If it 
develops that it is not possible to arrange for repeated voyages v y the 

S.S. TABI, please advise us if you have investigated tne possibility 
of making the S.S. NECAT available immediately after the first voyage 
of the S.S. TABI has been completed. 


- 485 - 




PROMs American Embassy, Ankara 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: March 15, 1944 

HUMBER: 458 


Reference la made herein to my cables of March 3, Ho. 380 and 455, 
dated March 15. 

Reference was Bade in my conversation this Doming with the Minis¬ 
ter for foreign Affairs to my previous conversation with the Minister 
of Communications concerning the possibility of the purchase by the War 
Refugee Board of the S.S. NEGAT at a cost of approxioately $400,000, 
the vessel to be donated to the Turkish Red Crescent and to become its 
property after completing the transportation to Palestine of 5,000 
Jewish refugee children from Rumania under auspices of the Internation¬ 
al Red Cross. In reply Human stated that the Minister of Co maun 1 cat ions 
had discussed the subject with him and that as the Turkish Government 
had now agreed to make a passenger vessel available to me at once, to 
withdraw a second vessel from the very few ships at the disposal of the 
Turkish Government would be impossible. Human added that there was 
some question as to whether the Red Crescent could accept the donation 
of a vessel under the conditions suggested by me. Inquiry was then 
made by me as to whether he could devise a means whereby the Red Cres¬ 
cent could operate a vessel under the Turkish flag for the continuous 
evacuation from Balkan ports of Jewish refugees. Later in the day the 
foreign Minister telephoned me and said that he had obtained the con¬ 
sent of the Council of Ministers to proposing that the American Govern¬ 
ment donate a vessel to the Turkish Red Crescent which would undertake 
to operate it under the Turkish flag for the purpose of evacuating refu¬ 
gees from Balkan ports during the continuance of the war, the vessel 
thereafter to remain the property of the Red Crescent, 

Hirschmann and I recommend that the foregoing proposal be accepted 
and in considering this proposal the War Refugee Board may wish to bear 
in mind the present exhorbitant cost per capitd of evacuating refugees 
either by rail or sea from the Balkans. The cost of evacuating a few 
thousand refugees, at the existing rates, from the Balkans to Turkey or 
Palestine by sea would probably be as much as the value of the ship on 
which they were carried which would clearly Justify its donation. 

The Department's instructions in this matter will be appreciated. 


- 486 - 



BJR - 874 

This tslegram must be 
paraphrased before being 
communicated to anyone 
other than a Governmental 
agency. (SCOO) 

Secretary of State, 



547, March 27, midnight 

From the -Ambassador and Hirschmann for the WEB, 

Department's 250, March 24, 10 p.m. 

Ankara's 9. 

(One) The Turk authorities have now agreed to a charter price of 
175,000 Turk pounds (approximately $97,200) for the projected voyage, 
eight days being allowed for embarkation and debarkation. For any 
period of time in excess of eight days required for embarkation or 
debarkation we will be required to pay 5 V 833 Turk pounds (approximately 
$3,245) per day. In view of the fact that the Jewish Agency for Pal¬ 
estine had made a firm offer of $250,000 (repeat dollars) for the 
charter of the S.S. VATAN for the projected voyage and was merely 
awaiting the consent of the Turk Government to the charter, and that 
we have obtained a desirable passenger vessel in lieu of an old cargo 
ship which would have required the installation of passenger facilities 
entailing a delay of two months, and which co Id not have carried more 
than half the passengers the S.S. TARI will take, we consider the price 
now agreed upon to be extremely favorable having regard to the exor¬ 
bitant prices demanded for charters in these waters. Our financial 
negotiations were made difficult by the price offered the Turks for 
the S.S. VATAN. Black, who has been present throughout the negotiations, 
regards the price finally agreed upon as reasonable under all of the 

(Two) The Turk Government will not (repeat not) accept a replace¬ 
ment guarantee on the basis of "a cargo vessel of camparable age and 
tonnage" for the S.S. TARI, which is one of its six available desir¬ 
able passenger vessels. The Turk Government requires a guarantee 
that the S.S. TARI will be replaced with a similar passenger vessel 
of comparable age and tonnage. 

(Three) We, too, are assuming that there will be refugees 
available for evacuation when the voyage is undertaken and are relying 
on assurances to this effect from the representative of the Jewish 
Agency in Istanbul, the representative of the International Red Cross 


DATED: March 27, 1944 
REC'D: 9 a.m. 29th 


- 437 - 

in Bucharest and the Rumanian Minister in Ar Obviously having 

no control over the movement and departure >f refugees Rumania at this 
time, we are in no better position than the _/oard to give positive 
assurances on this subject. 

(Tour) In view of the conditions of the charter which provides, 
as stated above, for additional payments in the event of delays in 
embarkation or debarkation on a daily basis, the Board will be in a 
position to terminate excessive delays should the cost become too 
great. In this connection based on experience in this part of the 
world and existing conditions, we feel obligated to invite the at¬ 
tention of the Board to the probability of very great delay in con¬ 
nection with embarkation resulting either from failure of safe conducts 
to arrive, difficulties in moving prospective refugees to the port of 
Const&nza, or other difficulties in connection with the documentation 
of refugees. In our opinion only exceptionally favorable circumstances 

permit of the completion of the projected voyage within two months. 

(Jive) We invite the attention of the Board to the fact that we 
have now taken every step which it is within our power to take to ob¬ 
tain the German safe conduct. As the representative of the Internation¬ 
al Red Cross in Ankara informs us that he has received word from Gen¬ 
eva that there will be considerable delay in obtaining the German 
safe conduct and as the TARI which will be prepared to Bail within a 
week, will not oe permitted to depart until the German safe conduct 
is forthcoming, we urge the Board to exert every possible effort 
towards expediting the German safe conduct. 


- 4SS - 




FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: Am embassy, Ankara 

DATED: April 13, 1944 

NUMBER: 324 


From War Refugee Board for Ambassador Steinhardt. 
This WRB cable to Ankara no* 20* 

Please refer to your Nos. 585 and 594 of April 4. 

1. We talked last week with Turkish Ambassador in Washington 
regarding impossibility of replacing TARI with passenger ship 
and Ambassador cabled his Government accordingly. Turkish 
Ambassador here now understands that the Turkish Government is 
no longer insisting on guarantee to replace TARI with passenger 
boat but will accept guarantee of cargo vessel. Ambassador is 
asking confirmation of this from his government. As we advised 
in No. 250 of March 24 the United States Government, in view of 
military necessities is not (repeat not) in a position to re¬ 
place the SS TARI with a passenger vessel. It was accordingly 
suggested that you put the issue squarely to the Turkish Govern¬ 
ment whether it is prepared to cooperate by chartering the SS 
TARI without further delay and upon the basis of the guarantee 
already offered, namely a cargo vessel of comparable age and 

2. Transfer of $160,000 to Kelley as requested in your no. 594 
has been arranged. These are confidential funds from the 
Emergency Fund of the President and may be disbursed without 
following the procedure usually required in government disburse¬ 
ments. Kelley will be responsible to Mr. Pehle, Executive 
Director of the Board, alone for expenditures but should keep 
careful records and obtain receipts. 

3* The charter party should be signed In the name of the War 
Refugee Board. Ambassador Steinhardt or any member of his staff 
designated by him is hereby authorized to sign the charter party 
in the name of the War Refugee Board. 

4. With reference to German and Russian safe conduct the 
following steps have been taken by the 3oard. The Governments 
of Switzerland and Sweden have been asked to support the request 
of the International Red Cross for a German safe conduct. The 
Apostolic Delegate in Washington has been requested to ask 

- 439 - 

similar action by the Holy See, The Swedish Government has 
already indicated its willingness to approach the German Govern¬ 
ment. Minister Harrison is awaiting a reply from the Swiss 
Foreign Office. As you know, the Board requested Ambassador 
Harriman to approach the Russian Government with respect to 
obtaining safe conduct from that Government. No reply has as 
yet been received in Washington. None of your cables with 
respect to the TARI indicate clearly the exact nature of the 
safe conduct that has been requested from the Germans. How¬ 
ever, we have been advised by Minister Harrison in Bern that 
the International Red Cross has requested a safe conduct for 
the TARI on a voyage from Istanbul to Constanza and return. 
Accordingly our requests to the Swiss and the Swedes have 
been couched in the same terms. In view of the one indication 
contained in your No. 501 of March 21 that the voyage may be 
from Constanza to Haifa it is suggested that you check immediately 
with the International Red Cross delegate with a view to seeing 
whether the safe conduct request has been properly couched and 
advise the Board. 

5. The Board fully concurs that the signing of the charter 
party should be delayed as long as possible pending more definite 
news about German safe conduct. However you are given fiill 
authority to act as in your judgment circumstances dictate. We 
realize the difficulty of the situation and that risks must be 
taken and you are fully authorized to charter the TARI when and 
if you deem it desirable. We feel that you are in a better 
position than we to make a judgment on the matter and we accept 
and have full confidence in whatever decisions you reach. 


- 490 - 




1B0M: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: American Embassy, Ankara 

BATED: April 17, 1944 

HUMBER: 342 


from the War Refugee Board to Ambassador Steinhardt, Ankara, 

The following refers to your no. 657 of April 12 fron Ankara to 
the War Refugee Board. 

With respect to the replacement of a passenger vessel of QUOTE 
an equivalent vessel of similar age, sise and general characteristics 
UNQUOTE for the "S.S. TARI" as designated in Article 4 of the proposed 
charter vith the Turkish Government for the aforesaid ship, Hirschmann 
is in full agreement vith the position you have taken in your telegram 
above mentioned. 

Hirschmann and I conferred with Admiral Land of the War Shipping 
Administration today. The War Shipping Administration and the foreign 
Economic Administration have authorised you to commit this Government 
to the replacement of the "S.S. TARI" in the event of loss vith a pas¬ 
senger repeat passenger vessel as requested by the Turkish Government. 

At this point every recommendation submitted by you and Hirschmann 
to complete the negotiations for you to sign the Charter agreement for 
the War Refugee Board vith the Turkish Government for the "S.S. TARI" 
has been authorised. Please refer to War Refugee Board cable to Ankara 
No. 20 relating to all the conditions mentioned in your numbers 585 and 
594. The single obstacle remaining is the granting of safe-conduct 
by the German Government. We have taken every available measure to 
expedite this safe-conduct in Washington as reported in our War Refugee 
Board Cable No. 20. 

Hirschmann informs me tuat Simond has expressed to him unequivoc¬ 
ally, unreserved confidence that von Papen would arrange to obtain 
this safe-conduct vlthout delay. He also informs me tin t Simond 
agreed personally to see von Papen within a few days after his first 
meeting with him in Ankara on this subject. Assuming that the German 
safe—conduct has not been obtained Hirschmann urges that both Simond 
and the Apostolic Delegate from Istanbul arrange to see von Papen in 
person in order to again urge granting of safe-conduct without delay. 
Hirschmann reports that Simond expressed the view that he can succeed 
in securing the safe-conduct and he suggests that you personally con¬ 
fer with Simond along the above lines without delay. 


- 491 - 





FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: Amembassy, Ankara 

DATED: April 27, 1944 

NUMBER: 377 


From War Refugee Board to Ambassador Steinhardt, Ankara, Turkey. 

This is WRB Cable to Ankara No. 31. 

Please refer to your No. 725 of April 22 with respect to safe- 
conduct for S.S. TARI. Your action is approved. However, for your 
information, the Joint Distribution Committee here has advised us 
that Barla8 of Jewish agency can probably arrange for coastal schoon¬ 
ers to convey refugees from Iskenderun to Haifa if voyage of TARI 
were to terminate at Iskenderun. Accordingly it is suggested that 
you take this n»tter up at once with Barlas in order to see if he 
can arrange transportation of refugees from Iskenderun to Haifa. 

If this can be done it may be advisable to arrange with Turks and 
Intercross to change route of S.S. TARI in order that German safe- 
conduct may be obtained promptly. 


- 492 - 








American Embassy, Ankara 
Secretary of State, Washington 
May 5, 1944 


The Ambassador transmits the following message for the attention 

of WEB 

Reference is made herein to the Departments no. 388 (WBB'S 33), 
dated May 3. 

It is with regret that I must inform the Board that our offer 
to change the destination of the S.S. TARI from Haifa to a Turkish 
port, which was communicated to the German Government, has not thus 
far been productive of results even though this offer was made some 
time ago. Apparently Simond's belief was unfounded, that such a pro¬ 
posal would expedite the granting of a German safe-conduct. 

i do not anticipate any great difficulty in transporting the 
refugees who might arrive on the TARI at a Turkish port to Palestine 
and this will be borne out by cqy discussion of the matter with Barlas 
as will be seen by the Board from my 795, May 2, Ankara 51. If and 
when they arrive, I should regard it as inadvisable to approach the 
Turkish authorities with a request to transport this particular 
group of refugees from a Turkish port to Palestine by rail when they 
can be transported by coastal schooners at this season of the year. 
The agreement of the Turkish authorities to transport these 1,500 
refugees by rail would of necessity Interfere with and probably reduce 
the movement by rail of the refugees arriving on so-called illegal 
boats in Istanbul. We doubt Austrian's opinion that railroad facil¬ 
ities in Turkey are sufficient to enable the transportation of many 
more refugees then are presently being accommodated from Istanbul 
across the country, was based on conditions prior to his departure 
from Istanbul. As the Board has been informed, since Austrian's 
departure, the Minister for Foreign Affairs has agreed to provide 
transportation for a considerable additional number of refugees 
arriving on so-called illegal boats and in less than two months, in 
addition to the regular movement, has thus far accommodated approx¬ 
imately 900 refugees. The fact that there are only two trains weekly 
from Istanbul to the Syrian frontier, which require approximately 
forty-eight hours to cover the 1,000 miles on the single track lines, 
must be taken into consideration in connection with the possibilities 
of transportation in Turkey and must not be avasured by American 

- m - 

transportation standards. The number of cars that can be attached to 
each train is limited by the poor condition of locomotives and the 
haul over the Naurus mountains. The Turkish transportation system 
is acutely short of rolling stock in addition to the above handicap. 

The opinion of Austrian that the situation is simply whether or not 
the Turkish Government is disposed to make available additional trans¬ 
portation facilities, is not, therefore, agreed to by me. The ques¬ 
tion is much less the disposition of the Turkish Government, which 
continues to be most cooperative, than the number of cars and loco¬ 
motives available and particularly the condition of the locomotives. 

The single track line already is carrying four times its pre-war load, 
therefore, the number of refugees that can be transported over this 
line must be examined in the light of the maximum total passenger and 
freight movement and not in the light of the number of refugees who 
have to be transported. 

Even though I may have to secure permission to house some of the 
refugees temporarily at the port of arrival in order to permit of a 
gradual and orderly movement, should the TAEI disembark 1,800 refugees 
at a Turkish port and should it be found impossible to transport all 
of them to Palestine by coastal schooners, I have little doubt that I 
will be able to make the necessary arrangements with the British author¬ 
ities to transport the excess number by rail. 


- 494 - 




Distribution of 
true reading only by 


DATED July 26, 1944 
EEC'D 10*11 p.m. 

special arrangement 
(Secret W) 

Secretary of State, 


1371, July 26, 5 p.m. (Section One of Two) 

Jor Pehle WEB from Hirschmann Ankara 108. 

The following is a translation of a letter addressed to Simond 
of the Intercross, by Balabanoff, Bulgarian Minister to Turkey, 
referred to in my 1370, July 26. 

“In regard to the question you raised, relative to a Turkish 
vessel which could go to any Bulgarian port to embark Jewish children 
frop Rumania and possibly also Jewish children from Bulgaria, I an 
able to communicate to you the following: in principle, the Bulgarian 
(*) would have no objection to this. But for a settlement of this 
question I would suggest that you address the Bulgarian Red Gross which 
on its part, will submit the question to the Government in order to 
obtain the latter 1 s decision. 

I take advantage of this opportunity to share with you the im¬ 
pressions which I bring back from my last short visit in Bulgaria. 

There is no doubt that the new Bulgarian Government regrets ex¬ 
ceedingly all the measures which have been taken regarding 

/End of Section One/ 

- 495 - 


Distribution of true 
reading only by special 


DATED July 26*. 1944 
BEC^D 6:64 a.m.. 27th 

arrangements (Secret V) 

Secretary of State 

1371, July 26, 5 p.m. (Section Two) 

Jews in our country and that it does not in the least approve these 
measures* This Government intends to mitigate the situation of the 
Jews. But for reasons which will be readily understood, it could not 
proceed to annul immediately the law concerning the Jews. However, 
it is firmly decided to avoid all arbitrary action in the application 
of this law as well as all restrictive measures not provided for by 
the law. In the second place, the Bulgarian Government has decided 
to facilitate the emigration of Jews desiring to leave the country by 
reducing, for this purpose the administrative formalities to a strict 
minimum by removing all obstacles. 

The President of the Bulgarian Council of Ministers has invited 
the Jewish Consistory in -Bulgaria to come to see him and he has had 
a long conversation with its members concerning the situation of the 
Jews in the country. He has spoken to them of the steps which he 
intended to take to mitigate their situation and to facilitate the 
departure of those who might desire to leave the country. At Sofia, 

I was able to ascertain that the members of the Consistory came away 
from the conversat ion w*ry well satisfied and pleased with their visit 
to the Bulgarian Prime Minister to whom I understand they expressed 
their thanks and gratitude for his plans for the Jews. 

In general I consider that the policy of the new Bulgarian Govern¬ 
ment toward the Jews will be based on principles of equity and human- 
itarianism. Likewise I do not exclude the possibility of reaching 
gradually and quickly a completely normal state in the situation of 
the Jews in our country." 


- 496 - 



KB 3-1706 

This telegram mast be 
paraphrased, before being 
communicated, to anyone 
other than a Government 
Agency. (Restricted) 

Secretary of State, 



For Department and WEB. 

As anticipated in Katzkl's cable to the DBB (Ankara's 14, re 
Embassy's 2376, December 16) Jabotlnsky's approach to any negotiations 
with the Turkish authorities to charter the S.S. TARI without consult¬ 
ing the Embassy or the WEB representative, has afforded the Turkish 
Minister of Communications an opportunity to reopen the matter of the 
TAEI and to present a claim to the Embassy through the Foreign Office 
for what in effect amounts to demurrage from April 9 to May 26 
inclusive. The amount claimed is 117,500 Turkish pounds being 47 
days at 2,500 Turkish pounds a day. 

It is not yet clear whether the Foreign Office intends to support 
the claim wholeheartedly. Under the circumstances I have taken advan¬ 
tage of the fact that there is no longer a WEB representative in 
Turkey to suggest to the Foreign Office that the Turkish Embassy in 
Washington discuss the matter with the WEB in Washington. It might 
thus be possible to arrange to have the claim disposed of under re¬ 
verse Lend-Lease. 

Ankara via Army 

BEC'D March 15, 1945 
4:35 p.m. 


- 497 - 








February 24, 1944 


As you know* the War Refugee Board, consisting of the Secre¬ 
tary of 8tate, the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of 
War, has recently been established by the President of the United 
States to take immediate action to rescue the Jewish people of 
Europe and other victims of enemy oppression who are in imminent 
danger of death* 

The Board is fully aware of the splendid humanitarian efforts 
which the Swedish Government has been making to help save the lives 
of these persecuted peoples* The Board takes this opportunity to 
ask you to convey to your Government the Board’s appreciation for 
Sweden’s treatment of the war refugee problem. 

The Board is convinced that one of the greatest opportunities 
for saving many lives exists in the areas adjacent to Turkey and 
the Black Sea. It is known that in Transnistria, Rumania and 
Bulgaria there are substantial numbers of refugees in imminent dan¬ 
ger of death. It also appears that arrangements can be made with 
the Turkish Government to receive refugees from these areas. There 
are strong indications that the Rumanian Government at least will 
permit a substantial number of these refugees to leave Rumania. It 
is indispensable that means of transportation be found at once. 
Arrangements are being made for a small Turkish vessel to proceed 
to the Rumanian port of Constanza and evacuate approximately one 
thousand children to Turkey. Other boats are urgently needed to 
effect the evacuation of refugees from this area to Turkey. 

Knowing the sympathetic attitude of your Government toward 
this whole matter, the Board desires to request the urgent assis¬ 
tance of your Government in helping to solve this immediate trans¬ 
portation problem. The Board understands that a number of Swedish 
ships under the auspices of the Swedish Red Cross are being used 
to carry food from Canada and Argentina to Greece. It has been sug¬ 
gested by the Board’s representative in Turkey, after consultation 
with the Turkish Government, that these empty Swedish ships might 
proceed from Greece to Constanza and other Black Sea ports for the 
purpose of transporting refugees to Turkey. 

- 493 - 

- 2 - 

The Board is prepared to arrange for the financing of the use 
of any Swedish -vessels which can he made available for this purpose 
and would appreciate a prompt consideration of this matter by your 



J. W. Pehle 

Acting Executive Director 

- 499 - 




FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: Amembassy, London 

DATED: April 15, 1944 

HUMBER: 3005 


From War Refugee Board to Ambassador Winant, London. 

Please refer to our no. 2616 of March 31. 

Ambassador Steinhardt has Just advised that there are a number 
of refugees who can be evacuated from Rumania in addition to those 
who can be carried in the one Turkish vessel for which charter nego¬ 
tiations are still continuing. Within the last few weeks approximately 
500 refugees have been brought to Turkey on small Bulgarian boats. It 
is therefore extremely urgent that additional shipping be obtained 
without delay. 

During the course of negotiations for a Turkish boat Ambassador 
Steinhardt suggested that we undertake to obtain from the Swedish 
Government permission to divert one or more of the ships carrying 
relief supplies to Greece for use in evacuation operations from Cons- 
tanza to Turkey. Ambassador Steinhardt felt that this procedure was • 
desirable in view of the delay in obtaining a Turkish ship and in view 
of the fact that the Greek relief ships of which there are twelve or 
thirteen in service were the closest to Turkey and could most easily 
be sent to Constanza. A request along these lines was addressed to 
the Swedish Government through the Ambassador here, in reply the 
Swedish Government indicated that certain obstacles such as obtaining 
the consent of the German, British and Canadian Governments would 
have to be overcome before a Greek relief ship could be used for 
evacuation of refugees. The Swedish Government indicated however 
that if these conditions and certain others could be met one ship, 
the "S.S. BARDALAwD," arriving in Salonika about March 15, might be 

The British Government apparently did not desire to have any 
Greek relief ships diverted for refugee evacuation, it is understood 
that the British Legation in Stockholm felt that any extraneous delay 
in the shipping schedule for Greek relief would have serious and 
deplorable effects. Moreover, the Board has been advised by the Wash¬ 
ington representative of the Ministry of Economic Warfare that even a 
small loss of tonnage in the Greek relief schedule might leave a serious 
gap in deliveries. The Ministry of Economic Warfare suggested that 


- 500 - 

it may be possible to reopen the question when four ships which are to 
be added to the Greek relief fleet have actually left the Baltic. The 
Ministry added however that even so it would be difficult to use a 
relief ship for this purpose and expressed the hope that ships can be 
obtained for this purpose in other quarters. 

We have now received from Ambassador Steinhardt the following 
cable with respect to the necessity of obtaining one of the Greek 
relief ships for evacuation purposes. 

"Baron de Platon. Second Secretary of the Swedish Legation in 
Ankara, still offers hopes for the availability a Swedish vessel to 
transport refugees from Constansa to Haifa. This would be in addition 
to the "TARI" or any others, the "S.S. BARDALAND" now in Istanbul is 
not fitted with equipment or life saving devices for refugee convey¬ 
ance. Platon will explore the possibilities of reequipping the ves¬ 
sel for this purpose. The "BARDALAND* 1 is scheduled to sail today 
to arrive in Piraeus (Athens) on April 25 and scheduled thereafter to 
sail for Constansa. Platon believes that Stockholm could be induced 
to have this vessel return to Istanbul and thence to Constansa to em¬ 
bark refugees to Haifa. I have not been informed except indirectly 
through the State Department radio bulletin regarding the reply of the 
Swedish Government to our request through the Swedish Minister here and 
your request through Washington for a Swedish boat. In spite of any 
refusal by the Swedish Government I recommend that the Board urge 
Stockholm to give instructions to make the "BARDALAND" available the 
latter part of April. This of course is not in lieu of the proposed 
trip of the "S.S. TARI" but in addition thereto." 

In view of the urgency of the situation the Board would appre¬ 
ciate it if you would immediately discuss this matter with appropriate 
officials of the British Government with a view to obtaining tlat 
Government’s consent to the use of the "S.S. BARDALAND" for the pur¬ 
pose Indicated in Ambassador Steinhardt’s cable. As soon as such ap¬ 
proval is obtained you should also discuss the matter with the Swedish 
Ambassador in London asking to communicate to his Government this 
Government’s request for the use of the "BARDALAND" and asking them 
to approach the German Government to obtain the necessary safe-conduct. 
In your discussions with the British you may wish to make clear that 
time is of the essence and that the rescue of additional refugees in 
imminent danger of death depends upon this boat being made available 
to the War Refugee Board. 

The "BARDALAND" may be leaving the Greek service, we are advised. 


- 501 - 








Amembassy, London 

Secretary of State, Washington 

May 4, 1944 



The Department’s cable of April 28, 1944, no. 3434 from the War 
Refugee Board and the previous are referred to herewith. 

With respect to the diverting of a Swedish vessel for the pur¬ 
pose of evacuating refugees, a favorable reply has now been received 
from the Foreign Office. The ban on code cables for foreign diplomats 
other than American or Husslan has been put into effect since the 
receipt of War Refugee Board's cables under reference, in which the Em¬ 
bassy was requested to take the matter up with the Swedish Minister 
in London as soon as favorable reply was received from the British 
and we presume that the Swedish Minister would not be able to com¬ 
municate with his Government in cipher regarding this matter. Con¬ 
sequently I hesitate to approach him and it is suggested that the 
War Refugee Board may under these circumstances desire to communicate 
with tne Swedish Government directly either tnrough our Legation in 
Stockholm or through the Swedish Legation in Washington. 

It was stated by the Foreign Office in its reply that it has no 
objection to the BARDALAND being used for this purpose and is willing 
to grant a safe-conduct provided the Government of Sweden agrees and 
that safe-conducts are obtained from the Bussian Government and from 
the German Government on behalf of itself and its Allies. The latter 
from the Foreign Office states that it is understood that the BARDA- 
LAND is at Piraeus at the present time and is due to return to Sweden, 
leaving the Greek Relief service. The Foreign Office letter adds 
that the Swedes have put forward proposals that on her way home this 
ship should collect the cargo of various imports for Sweden. 


We have not communicated with Ambassador harriman concerning the 
procuring of a safe-conduct from the Soviet Government. 


- 502 - 




FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: American Legation, Stockholm 

DATED: May 12, 1944 

HUMBER: 895 


From War Refugee Board to Minister Johnson, Stockholm, Sweden. 

Reference your 784 March 7 concerning possible use of Swedish 
ship for refugee evacuation in Balkan Black Sea area. 

Ambassador Steinhardt advised us some time ago that a number of 
refugees can be evacuated from Rumania in addition to the 1,500 who 
can be carried on TARI which is awaiting German safe-conduct (refer¬ 
ence our 571 April 3, your 1181 April 7, our 633 April 10, your 1255 
April 13). In April alone more than 900 refugees were brought to 
Turkey in small Bulgarian ships. 

Late in February at Ambassador Steinnardt's suggestion, made after 
discussion with the Swedish Legation in Ankara a request was addressed 
to the Swedish Government through Minister Bostrom in Washington for 
authorization to divert a Greek relief ship for refugees operations 
in Balkan Black Sea area. The Swedish Government replied that con¬ 
sent of the governments concerned in Greek relief operations would be 
necessary. It was indicated that M/S BARDALAND might be available 
for such purpose if certain conditions could be met. 

Originally the British did not desire to have any Greek relief 
ship diverted for refugee evacuation. The Washington representative 
of the Ministry of Economic Warfare advised the Board that even a 
small loss of tonnage in Greek relief schedule might leave a serious 
gap in deliveries, xhe Ministry representative suggested however that 
four additional ships for Greek relief fleet were expected soon to 
leave the Baltic and at that time the question of diverting a ship 
for refugee evacuation could be reopened. 

In view of Ambassador Steinhardt 1 s repeated and insistent requests 
that further efforts be made to oktain a Swedish ship Ambassador Winant 
at our suggestion took up the matter with the British Government. 

Word has just been received from Ambassador Winant that the British 
Government has no objection to use of BARDALAND for refugee evacua¬ 
tion if Swedish Government consents. Furthermore, British would 
grant safe-conduct for such a voyage, it is understood in addition 
that BARDALAND is being withdrawn from Greek relief service. 

- 503 - 

Please ask Swedish Government whether In view of above British 
action and the urgency of evacuating refugees from Balkan areas it 
would be willing to make BARDALAND available to War Refugee Board for 
refugee evacuation from Rumania to Turkey or Palestine, and whether 
as a preliminary step it would immediately sound out the German Govern¬ 
ment's willingness to grant safe-conduct for such an evacuation opera¬ 
tion, If the Swedish Government desires, the War Refugee Board would 
aid by asking other neutral governments and the Vatican to make 
independent approaches to the German Government in support of the 
Swedish approach. Although the Board would prefer that Haifa be the 
destination of such an evacuation voyage, the Board would agree to 
make a Turkish port the destination if such action were more likely 
to produce a favorable response from the German Government. 

If the Swedish Government consents to the use of the BARDALAND 
and the German Government is willing to grant safe-conduct, a charter 
would be executed in the name of the Board, which would arrange for 
British and Russian safe-conducts. These and other details such as 
insurance, etc., could be worked out as soon as the preliminary 
negotiations show signs of producing res its. 

In your discussions with the Swedish Government you may wish to 
make clear that time is of the essence in this matter. 

This is War Refugee Board cable No. 9. 


- 504 - 




FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: American Legation, Stockholm 

DATED: May 20 , 1944 

NUMBER: 967 


From War Refugee Board to Minister Johnson and Olsen. 

Reference your No. 1744 of May 16 concerning Swedish Foreign 
Office attitude with respect to diverting the BARDALAND for refugee 
evacuation in the Black Sea area. 

It would be the War Refugee Boards intention if the Swedish 
Government agreed to charter the BARDALAND for refugee evacuation to 
have the ship proceed to Istanbul to be fitted with the necessary 
passenger accommodations. From Istanbul, the BARDALAND would pro¬ 
ceed to Constanza where there are a large but unknown number of 
refugees available for evacuation. We feel satisfied that if the 
BARDALAND puts in at Constanza refugees will be available for as 
many trips as the ship can make. Meanwhile it would be helpful to 
know the number of passengers the BARDALAND can cany after being 
fitted with passenger accommodations. After embarkation of refugees 
st Constanza the War Refugee Board would desire to have the BARDA¬ 
LAND proceed to Istanbul where the War Refugee Board would accept 
responsibility for arranging for the passengers 1 care until such 
time as they could proceed by rail to Palestine. 

if* in your opinion, the German Government is more likely to 
consider favorably a safe conduct request by the Swedish Red Cross 
or by Intercross for a ship chartered to either of these organiza¬ 
tions rather than to the War Refugee Board, the Board would agree to 
reimburse the Swedish Red Cross or Intercross for all expenses in¬ 
curred as a result of assuming the charter obligation. It would 
seem to the Board that valuable time could be saved if the BARDALAND 
were chartered to the Swedish Red Cross rather than Intercross as 
there would be no need to await authorizations from Geneva. In order 
that there be no delay until the Swedish Red Cross or Intercross 
agrees to accept the charter of the BARDALAND for refugee evacuation, 
please request the Swedish Government to make an immediate request to 
the German Government for permission to divert the BARDALAND and also 
for the necessary safe conduct. 

It is assumed that you will conduct the necessary negotiations 
with the Swedish Red Cross or Intercross. Please advise us how we 
can aid on this end. It is assumed further that the BARDALAND char¬ 
ter negotiations will be conducted in Sweden. If so, the Board 

expect you to act as its representative in the charter negotia¬ 
tions between the Swedish Government and the Swedish Red Cross or 

- 505 - 

Intercross. It is presumed that no charter contract would be 
entered into between the Swedish Government and the Swedish Red Cross 
or Intercross without your prior agreement to all details. 

The War Refugee Board would agree to assume responsibility for 
the reasonable charter costs of the BARDALAND from the time that the 
BARDALAND puts into Istanbul for refitting with passenger accommoda¬ 
tions. However, before such an obligation is assumed, the Board 
would desire some indication that the German Government would be 
willing to grant a safe conduct. 

Please thank the Swedish Government for its sympathetic and co¬ 
operative attitude in this humanitarian undertaking. 

This is War Refugee Board’s cable to Stockholm No. 13« 


- 506 - 




FROM: American Legation, Stockholm 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: June 5, 1944 

NUMBER: 2009 


Reference is made herewith to Departments cable of June 1, 

No. 1082, and previous related correspondence. It is advised by the 
Swedish Foreign Office that the German Government has flatly refused 
to authorize use of the BARDALAND for evacuation of refugees and it 
has even expressed resentment at the Swede*s making the request. The 
German Government*s official exp lan ation was that it had already as a 
favor to the Swedish Government authorized replacement of the BARDA¬ 
LAND by the BQRELAND (please see the Legation*s message May 12, No. 
1689). It is believed by the Swedish Foreign Office that the real 
explanation is that the German Government does not wish to facilitate 
the evacuation of refugees. As the Government of Sweden and the 
Swedish Red Cross very much desired to take part in this humanitarian 
undertaking, the Swedish Foreign Office expressed regrets over this 


- 507 - 



rAMS-Distribution of j une 1944 

true reading only by special 10:00 p.m. 

arrangement. (Secret W) 




The following WRB cable No. 27 refers to your 2009 of June 5 re¬ 
garding the BARDALAND and is from the Board to Johnson. 

The following had been received by the Board from Winant before 
Board's receipt of your cable: 

QUOTE Foreign Office has just informed Embassy that word has 
now been received that the Germans have refused to grant a safe con¬ 
duct for the BARDALAND to enable her to evacuate refugees (Embassy's 
3357, May 12, 1 p.ra., and previous for War Refugee Board). Foreign 
Office states that it is settled German policy to refuse in every way 
to facilitate the evacuation of Jews to Palestine and that, therefore, 
there does not seem to be anything further which can be done in this 
particular case. Unless War Refugee Board expresses urgently their 
disapproval, British intend to accept notice of sailing of BARDALAND 
from Piraeus June 10 UNQUOTE 

The reply to London which was repeated to you as No. H 64 of 
June 9 was immediately dispatched by the Board. The Board notes, 
after receipt and consideration your 2009, that German refusal of 
safe conduct for BARDALAND not (repeat not) attributed to German 
policy of refusing to facilitate the evacuation to Palestine of the 
Jews. The basis of the Board's reply to the cable from 7/inant was of 
course the apparent view of the British Foreign Office regarding this 

The Board, because of opinion of British Foreign Office, desires 
you to discuss with Swedish Government possibility of reopening with 
Germans the matter of safe conduct for the BARDALAND on basis of as¬ 
surances which may be given Germans that refugees evacuated thereon, 

no ^ (repeat not) be taken to Palestine but to havens of refuge 
elsewhere. The Board's conviction that any possibility of obtaining 
a safe conduct should not be lost merely because of intended destina¬ 
tion of the voyage should be explained to the Swedish Government as 
the reason for this additional request. Other refugee havens can and 
will be found if the German refusal is based simply upon their op¬ 
position to taking refugees to Palestine. 

The efforts which the Government of Sweden and the Swedish Red 
Cross have been making in this matter are greatly appreciated. The 
results of your conversations on tnis subject should be reoorted 


- 50(3 - 




Distribution of true 
reading only be special 
arrangement (Secret W) 

Secretary of State 

2548, July 10, 8 p.m. 

Foreign Office now states there is definitely no possibility 
of reopening with Germans the matter of s^fe-conduct for "Bardaland" 
(as proposed in Department 1 s 1213 June 16, 10 p.m., being War Refugee 
Board cable 27) on basis of assurances that refugees would not be 
taken to Palestine. 


DATED July 10, 1944 
REC'D 5:45 p.m. 


- 509 - 




Distribution of true 
reading only by special 


DATED: June 13, 1944 
REC'D: 11:57 a*m. 

arrangement (Secret W) 

Secretary of State 

2120, June 13, 2 p.ra. 

Owners of BARD ALAND have presented a preliminary claim of 80,000 
kronor to Swedish Foreign Office as an estimate of indemnity due them 
for charter hire, seamans 1 war bonus and war risk insurance during 
period vessel was tied up at Piraeus on War Refugee Board negotiations. 
This our No. 30 for WRB. Foreign Office appears to feel that settle¬ 
ment by WRB would be reasonable and the problem is referred by this 
Legation without recommendation or prejudice. Foreign Office was ad¬ 
vised that this office was advised that original instructions of WRB 
contemplated that charter and other costs of vessel would be assumed 
when and if vessel arrived at Istanbul for refugee operations* 


- 510 - 



FROM: American Legation, Stockholm 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATE: Septamber 19, 1944 

HUMBER: 3732 


Reference is made herein to the Legation's cable of July 20, 
No. 2688. 

The full claim for charges by the Swedish Orient Line for the 
"Bardal&nd" in the sum of 99,15# kronor 68 ore has been received 
from the Foreign Office. Included in this claim are the following 
charges: On the basis of $19,383*13 per 30 days, hire from 2 p.m. 
May 16, 1944 to 2 p.m. June 8 equals $14*860.40 equivalent at ex¬ 
change 4*20 to 62,413 kronor 68 ore; war bonus for the same period 
23,00S kronor; biinker oil consumed as indicated by ships jour nal 
5,800 kilograms at 300 kronor equals 1,740 kronor; sundries and 
trunk calls 50 kronor; at one quarter percent, war insurance on 
ship 10,750 kronor; war risk insurance on crew and officers 3^00 

August 22 is the date of this account. The Foreign Office 
states, in a covering letter dated September 16, that the ship 
owners would be grateful for payment at earliest convenience; 

- 511 - 


FROM: American Legation, Stockholm 

TO: Secretaiy of State, Washington 

DATE: September 19, 1944 

NUMBER: 3732 


that "Bardaland" was due to leave Piraeus May 18 for Sweden; that 
owners had contracted to cany cargo from Spain to Sweden; that 
on May 13 it was learned that WRB desired to charter "Bardaland" for 
refugees from Rumania and to hold ship in Greece pending negotiations 
for such transport; that ship sailed finally from Piraeus June 10 
instead of May 18. Covering letter contains a not entirely clear 
statement which appears to be for purpose of explaining why charge 
is not for full period from May 16 to June 10 but is for two days 
less; apparent explanation is that previous charter party expired 
May 16 and ship owners under previous schedule expected it to lie 
idle until scheduled departure May 18. please repeat to WRB as our 

Please instruct. 


- 512 - 






Distribution of true 

September, 30, 1944 
9 p.m. 

reading only by special 
arrangement. (Secret W) 




The following for Olsen is WEB 93. 

Reference your 3926 of September 27. You are authorised to 
pay immediately total cldim of 99168 kronor 68 ore for BARDALAND 
to the Swedish Orient Line. Regret misunderstanding. 



- CM _ 

Document 29 


FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: Amembasey, Ankara 

DATED: March 22, 1944 

NUMBER: 230 


Following for Hirschmann from War Refugee Board, 

War Refugee Board cable no, 7, 

It is stated in a letter dated February 25, from Inter-cross that 
the "Bellacitta", a Bulgarian vessel, is available to transfer refugees 
at the rats of 150 per week to Istanbul presumably from Mangalia. Fed 
Cross also informed us that two Bulgarian vessels, "Milka"and Maritza , 
are also available to Jewish organizations for this purpose but since 
Turkey is not allowing more than 150 a week to go to Palestine by rail, 
it is presumed that the last two mentioned boats will not be usable 
since the "Bellacitta"can fill the limit imposed. Red Cross as inter¬ 
mediary will give notification of sailings you are requested to do 
everything possible without lessening efforts concerning Swedish and 
Turkish boats. Red Cross has requested and the United States has 
granted safe conducts for the "Bellacitta" and cable is being sent to 
the American Embassy at Moscow requesting that the Soviet Government 
take prompt action on the British Government’s safe conduct requests. 





FROM: American Embassy, Ankara 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: March 25, 1944 

NUMBER: 527 


The following message from Hirachmann for the WHB. No. 9. 

Reference is made to Department^ cable No. 230. 

Fbr oyer a month, we have been aware of the desire of certain 
individuals to make use of Bulgarian boats MILKA and MARITZA to 
transport Jewish refugees from Constanza to Istanbul but due to 
objection of International Red Cross representative in Bucharest to 
use of these tVo vessels as unseaworthy, have taken no action in the 
matter. On ths other hand, since tne BELLACITTA is regarded as sea¬ 
worthy, we are attempting to expedite her from Constanza which is be¬ 
ing delayed from day to day for a reason which we have been unable to 
discover. Either the failure to receive Soviet safe conduct thus 
far or some connection with illegal traffic in refugees may be the 
reason for delay. 


- 5X5 - 



PROM: The American Ambassador, Ankara 

TO: The Secretary of State, Washington 

DATE: March 30, 1944 

NUMBER: 579 


The following message is Ankara*s number 17 and is from the 
Ambassador for the Department and the War Refugee Board. 

Reference my number 573. 

This afternoon the Minister for Foreign Affairs telephoned me 
and said that in the case of the approximately two hundred and fifty 
Jewish refugees without Turkish visas or Palestine entry certificates 
who were on board the S.S. MILLIA, he had decided to make an excep¬ 
tion. The Minister said also that he had issued instructions that the 
refugees are to be allowed to land in Istanbul and that in order to 
accommodate the refugees he had asked the Minister of Communications 
to detach four non-paBsenger cars from the semi-weekly" Istanbul- 
Aleppo train and attach four passenger cars. 


- 516 - 



PROM: The American Ambassador, Ankara 

TO: The Secretary of State, Washington 

DATS: April 8, 1944 

NUMBER: 625 



The following message as Ankara* s number 25 is from the Ambassador 
for the War Refugee Board* 

Yesterday in Istanbul there arrived the Bulgarian S.S. MARITZA 
with two hundred and forty four Jewish refugees from Constance. The 
authorities of Turkey have agreed today to allow all of the 244 refu¬ 
gees to land in Istanbul and to supply them with railroad transporta¬ 
tion to Palestine leaving Istanbul on April 10 although only fifteen 
of the refugees have Turkish visas and Palestine entry certificates* 




DATED: April 25. 1944 
HBC'D: 2:19 p.m., 26th 


This telegram mast he 
paraphrased before being 
comanmicated to anyone 
other t han a Governmental 
agency. (BE) 

Secretary of State, 


746, April 25, 11 p.m. 

for VHB from the Ambassador Ankara, Ho. 46. 

The Bulgarian S.S. BELLACITTA arrived in Istanbul yesterday 
afternoon with 152 Jewish refugees on board. As stated in my tele¬ 
gram 713, April 19, I do not anticipate any difficulty in arranging 
for the prompt transit of these refugees to Palestine. 


- 513 - 




PROM: Amembassy. Ankara 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: May 2, 1944 

NUMBER: 788 


Following is Ankara's 49 from the Ambassador for War Refugee 

Yesterday the vessel S.S. MiLKA from Constanza carrying 272 Jewish 
^refugees appeared off the Port of Istanbul and asked for permission to 
enter the port. 

The Foreign Minister has directed the refugees to land and has 
requested the Communications Minister to provide transportation to the 
Syrian frontier for them in spite of the fact that the vessel again 
arrived without proper papers and the refugees on board are without 
Turk entry or transit visas and without Pale stine entry certificates. 
The British in Istanbul are today issuing the requisite Pale stine 
entry certificates. 

It is necessary for me to advise the Board to refrain from ex¬ 
pressing publicly at this time our appreciation for the Foreign Minis¬ 
ter's action in allowing the continued transit to Palestine of Jew 
refugees arriving in Turkey illegally. It is feared that such public 
expression at this time might embarrass Turk relations with Arab coun¬ 
tries and might be used against the Foreign Minister by his political 
opponents who are now very active. Therefore it is recommended that 
any public expressions of appreciation be deferred until later esp¬ 
ecially since I am advised that the Bulgarian vessel S.S. MARITZA, 
wnich will present a situation similar to the MiLKA, is due to arrive 
in Istanbul shortly. 


- 519 - 



FROM: American Embassy, Ankara 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: May 19, 1944 

NUMBER: 907 



Following is Ankara^ No. 60, from the Ambassador for the War 
Refugee Board* 

Reference is made herewith to my message dated May 2, No* 788. 

On May 17 the Bulgarian ship MARITZA from Constanza with 316 
Jewish refugees on board appeared off the port of Istanbul and per¬ 
mission to enter was requested. Despite the fact that the MARITZA 
again arrived without proper papers and that the refugees on board 
were without Turkish entry or transit visas and without Palestine 
entry certificates, it has been directed by the Minister for Foreign 
Affairs that the refugees be permitted to land, and the Minister of 
Communications has been requested to provide immediate transporta¬ 
tion to Palestine for them. The British authorities in Istanbul last 
night issued the requisite Palestine entry certificates. 


- 520 - 






Secretary of State, Washington 
American Bnbassy, Ankara 
June 2, 1944 




From War Refugee Board to Ambassador Steinhardt, Ankara, Turkey, 
Please refer to your 941 of May 23* 

We appreciate your excellent handling of this difficult situa¬ 
tion and accept your judgment as to the route of the voyage and the 
charter arrangements. The Board is anxious to retain the right to 
use the TARI as long as there is any reasonable hope that it may 
ultimately be permitted to sail. While we hope that it will not be 
necessary to do so, you are authorized, if you deem it desirable, to 
use the $160,000 already transmitted to you to hold the TARI. In 
any event please advise us before finally relinquishing the right to 

For your confidential information, the Bulgarian Minister to 
Stockholm is said to be sympathetic with our refugee evacuation pro¬ 
gram. If at any point you aeem it desirable, you may cable Minister 
Johnson in Stockholm asking him to enlist the support of the Bulgar¬ 
ian Minister there in connection with any project requiring the co¬ 
operation of the Bulgarian Government. 

With respect to the general question of obtaining shipping for 
refugee operations across the Black Sea the following is for vour in- 

friWID+.i nn« ° * 

We have been advised by the State Department that the British 
are requesting the American Government's view concerning appropriate 
conditions to be proposed to the Turkish Government in 

st&ntial quid pro quo from the Turkish Government. In addition to 
various political conditions proposed tentatively by the British 
Government as a condition to the re-charter of the Adana ships the 

- 521 - 

British are apparently suggesting that a further condition might be 
added to the effect that a suitable Turkish vessel up to the tonnage 
of one Adana ship should be placed at the disposal of the British 
and American Governments for refugee evacuation operations* le under- 
stand that at the present time the charters of the Adana ships are 
being temporarily renewed for two month periods pending a final 
decision on this matter by the British and American Governments* 

In order to strengthen your hand in future dealings with the 
Turkish Government concerning refugee matters and particularly in 
order to facilitate the obtaining of Turkish shipping for refugee pur¬ 
poses in the future 9 we have recommended to the State Department that 
it suggest the following among others as conditions to the re-charter 
of the Adana ships: 

1* So long as any of the Adana ships are under charter to the 
Turkish Government, the Turkish Government should make available the 
TARI or a similar vessel for repeated refugee evacuation voyages 
across the Black Sea to a Turkish Black Sea port with a German safe 
conduct if it can be obtained or without such a safe conduct, when¬ 
ever in the opinion of the British and American Ambassadors to Turkey 
such voyages become feasible. It shall be clearly understood that 
the re-charter of the five Adana ships will consitute fulfillment of 
any Turkish demand that a substitute passenger vessel be made avail¬ 
able to the Turks while the TARI is engaged in refugee evacuation 

2* The Turkish Government should cooperate with the British and 
American Ambassadors in effecting arrangements whereby evacuation 
operations across the Black Sea without a German safe conduct by 
•mall boats carrying relatively small numbers of passengers such as 
the MARITZA, MILKA, and BELLACITTA will be continued and if possible 
intensified. Such cooperation would include not only permitting ail 
refugees arriving in this manner to land in Turkish Black Sea ports 
and remain in Turkey until Turkish rail facilities permit them to be 
transported across Turkey to Palestine but also actively assisting 
the British and American Ambassadors in their efforts to find and put 
into service in Turkey small boats which can operate in the same 
manner as the three above-named ships. 

The War Refugee Board would of course agree to arrange for the 
payment of a reasonable charter hire for the use of any Turkish ves¬ 
sel made available and to assume responsibility for the maintenance 
and support of refugees in transport or awaiting transportation in 

In view of the necessity of using for military purposes all pas¬ 
senger ships now available to us, the War Refugee Board is also recom¬ 
mending that if the Turkish Government insists upon a guarantee of re¬ 
placement in kind in the case of loss of any Turkish vessel made 

- 522 - 

available in the future for refugee evacuation operations, consider¬ 
ation should be given to using the re-chartering of the Adana ships as 
a basis for requesting the Turkish Government to waive such guarantee 
in the future unless the Turks are willing to make a similar guarantee 
to replace any of the Adana ships that are lost. However, if the 
giving of a guarantee in kind appears absolutely necessaiy in order to 
obtain the use of Turkish vessels the War Refugee Board will, despite 
all difficulties, seriously consider giving such a guarantee in con¬ 
nection with future voyages of the TARI or ary other Turkish vessel 
because of the urgent humanitarian considerations involved and the 
strong interest of this Government in the refugee evacuation program. 
It should be clearly understood that the original guarantee to replace 
the TARI in the event of loss on its first voyage still stands and 
that the above refers to subsequent voyages of the TARI and any other 
Turkish vessels made available for refugee evacuation purposes* 

The State Department is transmitting the Board*s recommendations 
to the British. 

This is War Refugee Board Cable to Ankara No. 45. 


- 523 - 




FROM; American Embassy, Ankara 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: June 19, 1944 

NUMBER: 1104 


The Ambassador sends the following, Ankara No# 77, for the War 
Refugee Board. 

Department's cable dated June 15, No. 534* is referred to here¬ 

Since representatives of the various Jewish organizations in 
Istanbul or others during recent months have reported to the Embassy 
only one instance of refusal of entry into Turkey to Jewish refugees 
without visas by Turkish border guards, the details of the reports 
which have come to the Board's attention that such occurences have 
been "not infrequent" would be appreciated by me so that I may bring 
these specific cases to the attention of the Turk authorities. While 
it is most unlikely that the Turk authorities would enter into an 
'hrrangement" for the violation of their own laws by agreeing that 
refugees without Turk visas could enter Turkey, as stated in my cable 
dated June 5> No. 1010, on several occasions I have been assured by 
the Turk Foreign Office that entry would not be refused to Jewish 
refugees provided that British and Jewish agency representatives in 
Istanbul issue them Palestine entiy certificates. Such certificates 
are being issued now without delay as a matter of course, and con¬ 
sequently a considerable number of Jewish refugees without Turk 
transit visas who have arrived overland at Turk border points from 
Bulgaria have passed through Turkey en route to Palestine. For some 
time past, Turk border guards have been under instructions not to 
turn back Jewish refugees but to detain them on the Turk side of the 
frontier pending instructions. It is essential, in view of the fore¬ 
going, that I be furnished immediately with the details of all cases 
in which Turk border guards have failed to carry out their instruc¬ 
tions. As matters now stand refugees arriving overland are no less 
favorably placed than those who arrived by sea. I do not anticipate 
any unfavorable change in this situation since the arrivals by sea 
without Turk visas have far exceeded the arrivals by rail. Thus it 
would seem from the Department's cable under reference that the Turk 
authorities have been taking substantially the same position as those 
of the other neutral countries adjacent to enemy controlled areas who 
have refrained from barring the entry of refugees. The Turk author¬ 
ities might be frightened by an attempt to convert the present benevo¬ 
lent attitude of the Turk authorities in admitting refugees arriving 

- 524 - 

by sea or land without Turk visas into an arrangement of a more 
formal character, and they might suspect the organization of a move¬ 
ment beyond their physical capacity to deal with and it would result 
in our losing some of the ground already gained rather than makin g 
a further advance. Since our objective is to evacuate the m a ximum 
possible number of refugees from the Balkans to Turkey or Palestine, 

I feel that at least for the present we should seek to hold the Turks 
to a strict compliance with the informal assurances that they have 
given me rather than press for a formal agreement which would involve 
the risk of withdrawal of the informal assurances. 

If notwithstanding what I have pointed out above, it is pre¬ 
ferred by the Board and the Department that I press the Foreign 
Office for a formal agreement, of course I shall try to do as you wish. 


- 525 - 




This telegram must be 
paraphrased before being 
communicated to anyone 
other than a Government 
Agency. (Restricted) 

Secretary of State 
1217, July 5, 2 p.m. 

For War Refugee Board from Hirschmann, Ankara No. 86. 

For your information a luncheon conference was arranged at the 
invitation of Ambassador Steinhardt on July 2 to consider and coordi¬ 
nate plans for the expansion of the work of rescuing refugees from the 
Ba lk a n s. Among those present were Ambassador Laurence A. Steinhardt, 
Counselor Robert F« Kelley, Ira A. Hirschmann, special representative 
of the War Refugee Board, and his assistant Herbert Katzki; and the 
following representatives of organizations engaged in refugee rescue 
work: Joseph Schwartz and Reuben Resnik, American Joint Distribution 
Committee; Dr. Judah toagnes and Harry Viteles, Middle East Advisory 
Committee of the American Joint Distribution Committee; Chaim Barlas, 
Jewish Agency; Jacob Griffell, Agudath Israel, Vaad Hahatzala, and 
other orthodox groups; Zevschind, Histadruth; and David Schweitzer, 

It was agreed among the organizations that overlapping and dupli¬ 
cation of effort now exists and that greater results will be obtained 
by coordinated efforts. Ambassador Steinhardt pointed out the unfav¬ 
orable reaction he had received from Turkish high officials to counter¬ 
act confusion resulting from numerous individual organizations approach¬ 
ing these officials frequently with similar or conflicting projects; 
also the difficulties placed in the path of the representative of the 
United States Government in dealing effectively with the Turkish Govern¬ 
ment as a result of these conflicts. 

An agreement was reached to form an over-all coordinating com¬ 
mittee including all effective agencies now represented in Turkey. 

The committee is to be directed by Ira Hirschmann, War Refugee Board 
representative and his assistant Herbert Katzki. 

It was understood that all efforts of individual organizations, 
especially those related to chartering of ships, would be pooled into 
a single coordinated effort in which all effective agencies would be 
afforded an opportunity to participate. 


DATED: July 5, 1944 
REC*D: 4:59 p.m., 6th 

- 526 - 

We are sure that you will take advantage of Ambassador Stein- 
hardt’s imminent return to Washington to learn from him at first 
hand and in detail the current situation existing in Turkey with 
regard to the refugee movement. 

When the above-mentioned committee is formed in Istanbul, and 
operating, we will keep you informed of its program and develop¬ 


- 527 - 




This telegram must be 
paraphrased before being 
communicated to anyone 
other than a Government 
Agency. (Re stricted) 

Secretary of State 

1250, July 11, 5 p-m. 

For War Refugee Board from Hirschmann. 

Ankara No. 94* 

Confirming Embassy^ 1246, July 9, 1 p.m. the Turkish SS Kazbek 
arrived in Istanbul Sunday, July 9, carrying 759 refugees from 
Rumania. Among the refugees were 265 children, 214 of whom came 
originally from Transnistria, 187 young agricultural students of whom 
20 were of the Agudah-Israel organization, and 65 refugees of other 
nationalities, mostly Hungarians and Poles. The remainder were 
Zionists and non-Zionists; the exact figures of each group are not 

Upon being informed by me of the impending arrival of the Kazbek, 
Mr. Kelley immediately requested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to 
make at once the necessary arrangements with the Ministry of Communi¬ 
cations for the transportation of the refugees to Palestine. Mr. Kelley 
was assured that all possible measures would be taken to facilitate the 
departure of the refugees at the earliest possible moment. 

In consequence, a special train was made available by the Turkish 
State Railways for the entire contingent of 759 refugees and they de¬ 
parted from Istanbul on the evening of July 10 for Palestine via Syria. 
The British passport control in Istanbul was most energetic and cooper¬ 
ative in completing the issuance of tne necessary visas for Palestine 
without delay. 

The successful completion of the voyage of the S.S. Kazbek and 
the immediate departure of the passengers for Palestine are encouraging 
indications that the deadlock in respect to both transportation and 
governmental red tape, which had caused the virtual cessation of the 
rescue of refugees from the Balkans during May and June has been broken. 


DATED: July 11, 1944 
REC'D: 11:17 p.ra., 12th 


- 523 - 





This telegram must be 

dated i 

August 10, 


paraphrased before being 
communicated to anyone 
other than a Government 
agency. (Restricted) 


5:01 a.m.. 

12 th 

Secretary of State 


1471, August 10, midnight 

For Pehle WRB from Hirschmann. 

Ankara's No 

. 129. 

The 308 refugees who arrived Istanbul aboard vessel MORINA 
jfckRIllk/ proceeded on August 9 by railroad from Istanbul to Syria, 
Included in this group were 177 children up to the age of 18, of 
whom 171 were orphans from Tranenistriaj the remainder were with 
their parents* Included also.among the refugees were 31 young 
trainees for Palestine (Chalutzim) mostly Rumanian and 36 revision¬ 
ists, the balance of the 308 comprised refugees who had arrived in 
Rumania (18 Polish and about 25 Hungarian) and Rumanians. 

For your information we have learned that approximately 3^300 
orphans from Transnistria are still in Rumania and I am attemptir 
to secure priority for them in whatever additional emigration fro 
Rumania it may be possible to effectuate. 


- 529 - 




This telegram must be 
paraphrased before being 
communicated to anyone 
other than a Government 
Agency. (Restricted) 

Secretary of State, 


2079, October 30, 2 p.m. 

F*om Eat ski for Pehle War Refugee Board. 

Ankara No. 175. 

The Turkish motor vessel Salahattln arrived in Istanbul on 
October 29 carrying 547 passengers proceeding to Palestine from 
Rumania. Preliminary information Indicates that the group comprises 
409 men, 133 women and 5 children. Refugees from Hungary who suc¬ 
ceeded in entering Rumania make up the majority of the passengers, 
including 24 Hungarians who were liberated from the forced labor 
mine at Bor, Yugoslavia. It is planned that the emigrants proceed 
by railroad from Istanbul to Palestine within the next few days 
under the general agreement between the Ambassador and the Turkish 
Foreign Office. Hirschraann*s reports provide information regarding 
the assurances given the Ambassador by the Foreign Office which we 
refer to here as the general agreement. The foregoing is for your 
information. Additional material will be sent by pouch. 



BATED: October 30, 1944 
REC'D: 4:51 p.m. 


- 530 - 




This telegram must be 
paraphrased before being 


DATED December 7, 1944 
HSC'D 8s07 p.m. 

communicated to anyone 
other than a Government 
Agency. (Bestricted) 

Secretary of State, 


2320, December 7, 3 p.m. 

From Katxki to Pehle War Refugee Board. 0 

Ankara's Ho. 200. 

For your Information the Turkish vessel "Toros*' which departed 
from Constanza December 3, arrived in Istanbul on December 5 carrying 
905 emigrants from Rumania proceeding to Palestine. The "Toros" pro¬ 
ceeded from Istanbul to Constanza during the month of November and 
returned to Istanbul under Rumanian Red Cross safe conduct. The 
emigrants arrived in Istanbul without transit visas or Palestine entry 
certificates, possessing only their travel documents. The Palestine 
entry certificates and the Turkish and Syrian transit visas were is¬ 
sued in Istanbul pursuant to the Embassy's general agreement with the 
British and Turkish authorities which previously has been reported to 
you relating to such cases. 

Passengers include 350 children repatriated from Transnistria 
to Rumania, Rumanian nationals, forced laborers from the Bor mines 
in Yugoslavia and a large proportion of refugees from Hungary, some 
of whom it is reported escaped from Hungary as recently as November 15. 

In accordance with Ambassador Stelnhardt's general agreement with 
the Turkish Foreign Office concerning railroad facilities, the Turkish 
authorities provided a special train and the entire group departed 
from Istanbul for Palestine on December 8. 

As soon as it has been possible to examine the lists and docu¬ 
mentation of the "Toros" emigrants more closely revised details will 
be sent to you. 


- 531 - 




FROMI American Legation, Bern 

TOs Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: February 15, 1944 

NUMBER: 941 


Department 1 e telegram dated February 11, 1944, No. 459, it 
referred to herewith. 

Given below is a preliminary answer to questions in the 
Department*8 telegram of January 25, 1944, No. 251. 

1. A reply is being awaited by this Legation to the communlca~> 
tion to the Swiss Foreign Office regarding War Refugee Board to which 
reference is made in my telegram of January 31, 1944, No. 624. Also, 

I am waiting for a reaction to my note of February 5, 1944 (supported 
by British Legation's concurring note) concerning burden on resources 
of Switzerland of care of refugees (see Department's telegram of 
January 20, 1944, No. 190); and also we are waiting for a reply to 
Joint representations made on 9th of February concerning Swiss re¬ 
ception of selected children from France, Belgium and other terri¬ 
tories occupied by the Germans (see my cable of February 10, 1944, 

No. 834). Answers are also pending to messages forwarded by War 
Refugee Board to International Red Cross Committee (Department's 
telegrams of January 27 and February 9, 1944, Nos. 279 and 437) re¬ 
garding funds for relief operations for Jews and other persecuted 
groups especially in Rumania, Hungary, Thereisenetadt, Croatia and 

2. More than 70,000 refugees have already been admitted by 
Switzerland (70,493 as of January 1 according to oubT^r.ed figures). 
Please see my telegram dated October 27, 1942, No. 6739, for compari¬ 
son of estimate of 63,000 in categories listed in Swiss Government's 
October 25, note. 

3. Swiss Government's general policy in dealing with refugee 
problem was set forth in my telegram of November 19, 1943, No. 7262. 

The Swiss Government still makes it a practice to admit refugees in 
the following categories (see my telegram of March 30, 1943, No. 2004); 
political refugees (defined as fugitives subject individually to 
arrest or imprisonment for political beliefs); military deserters; 
escaped prisoners of war; physically helpless persons (sick persons, 
pregnant women, aged persons, children and parents accompanying 
children). A great majority enter clandestinely. In order to lessen 
risk of detection, fugitives not officially admitted are allowed to 

- 532 - 

leave in the same manner in which they cross the frontier* i.e., 

It is reported hy the press that new entrants are coming in 
at the rate of about 90 to 100 a night, the bulk of them from Italy. 
Among Italians the percentage of Jews is very high. 

5. The following factors seem to motivate the Swiss Govern¬ 
ment's restriction of entry of non-Swiss refugees, in addition to 
problem of lodging and feeding refugees; fear of giving encourage¬ 
ment to anti-Semitism; high percentage of foreigners in Switzerland, 
about 400,000 or 10 percent of the total population; the belief that 
the admission of an increasing number of refugees who are enemies 

of the Nazi regime might compromise the neutrality of the Swiss 
(indicated in the Swiss Government's November 16 note last quoted 
In my telegram of November 19 mentioned above). 

Evidently the furnishing of funds from abroad is less important 
than furnishing food and clothing for the refugees as indicated by 
the Swiss Government'8 and National Bantfs disinclination to make 
Swiss francs generally available for local purchases against blocked 
dollars on behalf of refugees. 

6. While it was intimated by the Foreign Office in its November 
16 note that financial "facilities'' may become necessary, it was 
stated that there was actual need for clothing and blankets and 
foodstuffs for refugees and that it was hoped that requests for 
license to purchase and transport replacement stocks of clothing 

and food would be given sympathetic consideration by the American 

7. Latest available information concerning condition of refugees 
in Axis and Axis occupied territory as received from informed sources 
has been provided continuously to the Department by the Legation. The 
Legation is giving its advice and assistance to such private organiza¬ 
tions as the Unitarian Service Committee, the Joint Distribution Com¬ 
mittee, World Jewish Congress, and others in their attempt to organize 
and finance relief in European areas from Switzerland as the center. 
Progress has been made in general and I am pleased to report that 
federal authorities of Switzerland have shown no disposition to be 
other than helpful in these respects. 


- 533 - 




This telegram must be 
paraphrased before being 
communicated to anyone 
other than a Government 
agency. (BR) 

Secretary of State 

1304, March 4, 9 a.m. 

"My dear Minister, by letter of February 2, you kindly informed 
me of the decision of the President of the United States to create an 
inter-departmental board for refugee questions. At the same time you 
advised me of your Government 1 * purpose in this matter and you (•) me 
to what extent the Swiss Government would be ready to collaborate in 
the relief work contemplated by the Government of the United States* 
Finally, you ask for any suggestions we might wish to make. 


Concerning the contribution of Switzerland to the solution of the 
problem, you are aware, I believe, of our past and present efforts. 

We have kept‘you regularly informed in this respect. I may therefore 
be brief on this point more so as the political (•) in its note verbals 
of November 16 last stated very exactly, for the information of your 
Government, the manner in which the problem of refugees and internees, 
Jews and non-Jews, presents itself for Switzerland. 

I shall, therefore, restrict myself to specifying that, according 
to the latest statistics out of 70,500 refugees and internees of all 
categories in Switzerland at the beginning of 1944, about 53,000 of 
which 22,000 are Jews, fall approximately within the classification 
of persons referred to in your inquiry. 

This being said, I must remind you that notwithstanding the great 
desire of our population that our country be receptive and hospitable, 
our authorities have had to take into account the risk to our security 
of having a massive unchecked influx of foreigners, possibly containing 
undesirable elements and also requirements of national defence particu¬ 
larly in certain regions. Security of Switzerland in the long run is 
also security of those who have taken refuge there. 

Apart from persons with military status, Switzerland, as is known 
now, admits into its territory as far as circumstances permit in par¬ 
ticular: political refugees, sick people and pregnant women, aged 
persons over 65 and their wives or husbands, infants or very young 
people; persons with close relatives in Switzerland; finally, the women 
who have lost their Swiss nationality through marriage with their hus¬ 
bands if any. 


DATED March 4, 1944 
REC'D 1:36 p.m. 

•Apparent omission 

After an obligatory period of quarantine refugees are, in principle, 
distributed among labor camps or in hospitals or homes for adults or 
children or also in private homes. Cost of upkeep of refugees is borne 
by authorities and by charitable institutions; only very exceptionally 
may they carry on a private lucrative occupation. On the other hand pay¬ 
ment in the form of salary is made to those who perform regular work in 
establishments where they are sheltered. Refugees who have private re¬ 
sources may, under certain conditions, live in hotels or in apartments 
or be taken in by relatives or friends. Refugees naturally keep their 
belongings. In their own interest, securities and money, which they 
carry when they arrive, are deposited in a bank and competant authori¬ 
ties decide under what conditions interested parties may dispose of 

After having overcome difficult problems of organisation, principal 
concern of our authorities is now to occupy refugees by means taking into 
account present situation and economic future of our population. 

Having this briefly summarized situation, it remains for me to touch 
on the last paragraph of your aide memoire. You will not be surprised — 
through observation and knowledge of our practices over several years — 
and it will certainly be understood in Washington that whfle contributing 
as substantial aid as possible in specific cases as it has constantly 
done since the beginning of war Switzerland by the very nature of its 
strict neutrality cannot associate itself formally with initiatives of 
belligerent governments. Maintenance of this attitude, far from hinder¬ 
ing its effective activity and while properly speaking not constituting 
a ruling factor, does, on the contrary tend at least to reinforce the 
position whereby Switzerland is still able, in the heart of Europe, to 
continue its contribution to practical accomplishments in the field of 
relief to war victims. 

We could not find a better medium than you to explain to the Ameri¬ 
can Government that while we are anxious to persevere along the lines 
we have traced for ourselves and to continue to give the greatest effect 
within our means, limited, of course, by existing circumstances and our 
present state, to the feelings of human solidarity which animate the 
Swiss people, pur activities must remain independent and autonomous. 

That is the reason why we are always anxious to avoid having relief 
which we give here or there from becoming a subject of controversy 
between belligerents. 

It is hardly necessary to assure you that in the future as in the 
past we shall be ready to examine in a spirit imbued with practical 
realism as well as sympathetic understanding, the specific cases in 
which our cooperation may be Judged compatible with the principles 
mentioned above. Thus as you are aware in compliance with a request 
from the inter-governmental Committee at London inspired by the 
American and British Governments, we have undertaken to apnroach the 

- 535 - 

French authorities at Vichy regarding the possibility of obtaining 
emigration permits for children of refugees threatened with deporta¬ 
tion or whose parents have been deported or threatened with deporta¬ 

I wish to add that it would be useful to us to be kept informed 
of the measures which will be taken as a result of the recent decisioni 
of the President of the United States*■ 


- 536 - 




FROMt Secretary of State. Washington 
TOl Amlegation, Bern 
DATED: March 24, 1944 
NUMBER: 983 


The message given below refers to your telegrams of March 4. 
1944, nos. 1304 and 1321. 

With respect to paragraph number four of the Sternbuch-Rubin- 
fleld— Rosenbcnm reports contained in your cable no. 1321, you are 
informed that the confidential statements made in that report are 
not necessarily inconsistent with the Swiss Government's official 
statement contained in your cable no. 1304. The interpretation 
which the Swiss authorities, including the Swiss Department of 
Foreign Police, placed on the phrase "political refugees" and the 
persons considered in such category by those authorities would 
seem to be the pertinent consideration. We suggest that the aporo- 
priate Swiss Government officials be approached to determine as 
definitely as possible the extent to which the Swiss authorities, 
including the border guards and cantonal police, the Swiss Foreign 
Police Department and any other authorities concerned consider the 
following as political refugees: one, stateless Jews, including 
those of military age; two, nationals of the United Nations countries 
now occupied by the Germans who are of Jewish descent; three, 
nationals of German satellite countries who are of Jewish descent; 
and four, nationals in general of the United Nations countries now 
occupied by Germany. 

The many problems with which Switzerland has had to contend, 
as mentioned in your 1304, are appreciated by this Government but 
it believes that persons falling within all four of the categories 
mentioned above should, prima facie, be considered political 
refugees and as such should be afforded, after required security 
checks, temporary refuge without considering whether they have 
close relatives living in Switzerland and without regard to age 
or sex. You may determine to what extent the foregoing should be 
communicated to the Swiss after considering the replies to the 
specific inquiries, set forth above, you receive from the Govern¬ 
ment of Switzerland. 

We suggest that you may desire to bring to the Swiss Govern¬ 
ment's attention the fact that the Jewish people of Europe are 
refugees because of Germany's political action and the political 

- 537 - 

action of her satellite* and that therefore they are political 
refugees in every sense of the term. 

It is requested that you inform the Department of such views 
as the Swiss Government might express regarding the matter under 
reference and of any developments resulting from your negotiations 
with the Swiss Government. 


- 538 - 




... A series of six reports concerning the Jewish persecutions 
in Hungary which I issued “unofficially" during June, July, and Aug¬ 
ust . . . appeared in English, French, and German, and were distri¬ 
buted to various persons and organizations in Switzerland in a posi¬ 
tion to act on public opinion. We also brought out two more reports 
during this period on the political situation in Hungary with speci¬ 
fic emphasis on the anti-Jewish and Fascist tendencies of the various 
governments since March 19, 1944. . . 

Special expenses /included fee&/ for courier service /performed 
by/ the Franc-Tireur Partisans /in th,fi7 Haute Savoie border region 
and points south and west; the Hechaluz JT£f Germany (Berlin), Hun¬ 
gary, Slovakia, and Rumania; the Italian Liberation Committee /ifl7 
Northern Italy (between Swiss border and Milan); the Belgian Resis¬ 
tance JjLj& Belgium (Brussels) and Holland. 

Patch Jewish Coordinating Committee. Dr. Pollak-Daniels, who 
came to Switzerland clandestinely via Belgium and France during the 
latter part of 1943, is co-director of a small but well organized 
relief committee specializing in assistance to Dutch Jewish refugees 
and Jews of other nationalities coming from Holland. Since the needs 
of their organization in Holland itself were fairly well covered by 
grants from Mr. Saly Mayer of the Joint Distribution Committee. I 
filled in with a small monthly contribution which served mainly to 
finance "passeurs" along the French-Swiss border for such incoming 
refugees. 200 francs a month went to enlist the cooperation of a 
Swiss customs officer who served in the "refoulement" and "sorting" 
camp of Cropette in Geneva. Here refugees crossing the border il¬ 
legally are cross-questioned and "sifted," with a view to determin¬ 
ing who shall be pushed back across the border into France. Thus 
with a few hundred francs a month in the right place about 30 people, 
who might otherwise have been "refoules," were admitted to 

Since the liberation of France, which has brought the flow of 
refugees into Switzerland from that country to a stop. Dr. Daniels* 
committee (he works with a Mr. Gans of the Dutch Jewish Coordinat¬ 
ing Committee) is expanding its parcel work and "postcard location" 

- 539 - 

of Jewish deportees in German-occupied territory. Further contri¬ 
butions to this organization may not he necessary in the future as 
they have some promise of receiving additional funds from Butch 
sources in Great Britain. 

Freies Deutschland . Karl "Burkhardt" (a H nom de guerre”) is 
in charge of the relief and rescue section of the "Freies Deutsch¬ 
land” committee in Switzerland. I have known K. B. for a number of 
years as he was previously in contact with the Quaker Center in 
Berlin. This group, which has little in common with the Moscow 
group except the name, is made up of German political refugees of 
all parties at present in Switzerland. It operates, of course, 
illegally in Switzerland and maintains close relations with Germany 
and with resistance groups inside Germany. Our WEB contribution 
has helped them to pas6 particularly endangered political refugees 
across the border into Switzerland (mainly between Basel and Singen) 
for a number of months. Since the events of July 20th the number 
of individuals to be brought in ha6 increased and probably will. 
Getting them across the Rhine is also becoming more expensive. I 
am at present working with the FD on plans to send in more relief 
to endangered persons hiding in Germany along the border. 

Hungarian Student Organization In ZtLrlch. Stefan Eisenberg 
la the President of the Hungarian students' organization In Zflrich. 
When it became known late in July that persons holding Palestine 
Certificates in Hungary might be allowed to emigrate, this commit¬ 
tee was very active in sending collective telegrams to Palestine in 
an attempt to secure certificates for the relatives in Hungary of 
various of their members. This WHB contribution was made to assist 
them with covering the cost of these wires. 

Franc-Tlreur Partisans . Jean-Jacoues Jaeger was representa¬ 
tive in Geneva of the "Franc-Tireur Partisan” Resistance group 
(Communists) for the Department of the Haute Savoie. As such he 
was extremely helpful in hiding refugees along the French side of 
the border and in getting them_across the frontier into Switzer¬ 
land. This WRB contribution /for special medico-food relief for 
persons in prison, hiding, or fleeing/ vent mainly for their own 
people in order to enlist their cooperation in "passing” foreign 
refugees over. As was generally the case with French Resistance 
organizations, one could not ask them to aid foreigners without at 
least offering to assist them with their own well-nigh insurmount¬ 
able relief problems, as hundreds of their own people, particularly 
if they belonged to the FTP, were tortured, shot, and imprisoned 
by the Gestapo and the Milice. 

Pharmacie Nouvelle. Geneva . /Two small grants were made for 
special medico-food relief for persons in prison, hiding, or flee¬ 
ing. Anothex/ grant was made for a purpose very similar to the 
above. The partisan groups fighting along the northern Yugoslavian 

- 540 - 

border, up against the Hungarian frontier, were quite willing to 
assist in any way possible with rescuing endangered Jewish refugees 
Their own material situation, however, was such that they could 
scarcely do it without receiving help themselves. This shipment 
of medical and restorative products, therefore, was split up be¬ 
tween their own people and Incoming Hungarian Jewish refugees. Al¬ 
though it seems difficult to believe, the lines of communication 
between Switzerland and northern Yugoslavia were better than be¬ 
tween Italy and this region, with the result that a considerable 
amount of medical goods (the shipments had to be compact) was sent 
from Switzerland via Chiasso and Trieste, with the collaboration 
of Italian oartisan groups. 

- S panish C pmite fl'Unlon National (CUE) . The first of these 
contributions was made to enlist the invaluable assistance 
of the Spanish partisan groups operating along the whole chain of 
the Pyrenees from Cerbere to Hendaye in France with the passing of 
Jewish refugees into Spain. The second contribution was, according 
to my agreement with Manuolo Ascerati, the representative of the 
Spanish "Comite d'Union National” in Switzerland, to be split two 
ways, half going to finance ’'passing" and the other half for relief 
to imperilled Spaniards in the prisons and camps in southern France 
(and there were unfortunately many of them!). These contributions 
had really more concrete results than some of the others since, 
with assistance from other Jewish organizations such as the World 
Jewish Congress and the Joint Distribution Committee, close to 700 
persons were passed successfully over the mountains into Spain. 

gflixe.TOO nflent for Switzerland of "Tass" and "Pravrf* ." JJ 
small contribution was made t qJ secure the cooperation of the Com¬ 
munist press in Switzerland and use of their channels into occupied 

Sjaff pf Legation. fFhis grant wajgJ for aid to French 

in Lyon region sought by Milice and Gestapo. Mr. Royall Tyler is 
on our Legation staff, as you probably know, representing the For¬ 
eign Economic Administration and later the United Nations Relief 
and Rehabilitation Administration. He has very close contacts 
with France, and I was very happy to be able to place a sum at his 
disposal for assistance to French Gestapo victims and their families 

Rational de la Resistance a n d Comite dee Oeuvres 
Sg . fi . l3les flee Organisations de R esistance . This large contribution 
to the relief and rescue activities of the French Resistance was 
paid to and handled by Charles Guillon (whom I have known personally 
for some years, particularly from the period I worked in France) as 
representative in Geneva of the relief section of the "Conseil 
National de la Resistance," and Madame Andre Philip as delegate, at 
that time, of the COSOR ("Comite des Oeuvres Sociales des Organisa¬ 
tions de Resistance"). The 200,000 Swiss francs realized approxi¬ 
mately 12,000,000 French francs. . . /The first installment of 
7,000,000 French francs was allocated in July 194^7 a® follows: 

- 541 - 

The Social Services of the M. U. R. ("Mouvements 
Unis de la Resistance"). 

The relief activities of the "Front National" and 
Cooperative Croups. 

The "France d'Abord" group. 

The relief section of the "Etat Major des Postes, 
Telegraphes et Telephones" at Lyon. This was a resis¬ 
tance organization made up from the personnel of the 
postal, telegraph, and telephone services. They accom¬ 
plished excellent and dangerous information and sabotage 
work and were consequently particularly tracked by the 
Gestapo and Milice. A great many of their members were 
tortured and killed by the Germans. 

The resistance group from the SNCF (Societe National 
des Chemins de Fer Francais)—the French railroads. They 
did work similar to the post and telegraph organization 
which was of great value. 

The "Mouvements Prisonniers," a group specializing 
in assistance to men and women imprisoned by the Germans 
by sending them packages of food, cigarettes, etc. 

The "Oeuvre des Prisons de Lyon," a smaller organi¬ 
zation doing work similar to that of the group previously 
mentioned, but limited to the city of Lyon. 

The "Amities Chretiennes" in Lyon, an interconfes¬ 
sional group formed to assist French Jews. I know their 
work at first hand. 

Individual relief cases in the Northern "Zone." 
Individual relief cases in the Southern "Zone." 

The need for such individual relief was 
really tragically urgent and under-financed in 
France during the resistance period. Let me 
take two cases at random from among those re¬ 
ported to me as having been assisted with our 
WRB funds, to give you an idea of how this 
money was spent. 

l) The case of Family C. in Paris: Father 
arrested in October 1942 by the Gestapo, and, 
after 8 months in prison at Paris, deported to 
the concentration camp of Sachsenhausen-Oranien- 
burg near Berlin. Mother of the family, who was 

- 542 - 

also arrested shortly after her husband on 
suspicion of having aided in his work, died of 
undernourishment in the prison of rt La Tourelles" 
in Paris. This couple left behind two children 
aged 4 and 7 who are being cared for by a sister 
in modest circumstances with three children of 
her own. 

2) The case of Maurice Th., a member of 
the Paris section of "Ceux de la Liberation." 

Denounced and arrested at the end of August 1943. 

Finally liberated from the hospital at Paris by 
comrades of the CDL. The Gestapo, in the course 
of questioning him, had hung him by his feet, 
and in beating him had broken several ribs, in¬ 
jured his spinal column, and fractured his pel¬ 
vis. During earlier interrogatories the fingers 
of both hands had been crushed. At present he 
is living at Montmirail with a physician friend, 
but must be in a plaster cast for over a year. 

His wife and one child meanwhile have to be 

The second installment which went into France consisted of 
roughly 5,000,000 French francs and was distributed mainly in the 
region of Lyon during the month of August. The principal disburs¬ 
ing agent was Melle Germaine Hibiere, head social worker in that 
area for the COSOH. She divided these funds up among the follow¬ 
ing organizations: "Amities Chretiennes, H "Oeuvres des Prisons de 
Lyon," CIMADE ("Comite Inter-Mouvement Aupres des Evacues"), an ex¬ 
cellent Protestant organization which has always done fine work in 
France, particularly for foreign refugees, including a great many 
Jews, by hiding those in danger of deportation, securing false pa¬ 
pers and ration cards for them and passing them over the border in¬ 
to Switzerland, and the "Service Social d'Aide aux Emigres," the 
French branch of the International Migration Service, which does 
work somewhat similar to that of the CIMADE in France. A sum of 
500,000 French francs went to Pere Godard, of Lyon, as representa¬ 
tive of Cardinal Gerlier and director of Catholic relief work in 
that city and environs. This sum was largely instrumental in or¬ 
ganizing the release of some 200 wounded prisoners whom the Germans 
were keeping at the Hospital of Antiquaille in Lyon awaiting their 
sufficient recovery so that they could be executed! 

Communist Party of Milan Liberation Committee . 75,000 Swiss 
francs were sent into Northern Italy at the beginning of July 
through the Communist representative of the Milan Liberation Com¬ 
mittee in Switzerland and carried by the representative of a resis¬ 
tance group known as the "Gruppi di Dlfesa della Donna," Gisella 
della Porta. As far as I know they realized in the neighborhood 

- 543 - 

of 6,000,000 Italian Lire since the current "rate" at that time 
against Swiss hank notes in Italy was around 80 Lire t>er Swiss 

I asked Madame della Porta that these funds he used (among 
other similar projects) for the protection of Jewish women and 
children in danger of deportation. I also stated that we were 
very interested in the escape of as many Jewish refugees as pos¬ 
sible into Switzerland. To date, however, due to increasingly 
disturbed conditions along the Italo-Swiss border, only 7 cases, 
numbering some 18 persons, have turned up in Switzerland sent by 
the Women'8 Defense Groups. 

It was also of course understood that part of these funds 
could be used (and were to be used) for assistance to endangered 
Italian political refugees and prisoners, to aid with their re¬ 
lease, hiding, maintenance, parcels to them while in prison, and 
the like. 

Although it has only been possible to receive somewhat frag¬ 
mentary reports from Northern Italy concerning the exact expendi¬ 
ture of these funds I was able to learn that a sum of 500,000 Lire 
was devoted to smuggling relief parcels to Jewish internees in the 
ill-famed prison of San Vittore in Milano, in the camps of San Mar¬ 
tino di Rosignano Monferrato (near Alessandria) and Fossoli di 
Carpi—which I had specially renuested—near Modena. 

Another portion of this amount was allotted to the job of 

"springing" political prisoners from various prisons_generally in 

the smaller towns—in Northern Italy. According to reports re¬ 
ceived, the following liberations were effected in whole or in 
part with WRB funds: 

1) July 24, at Abbiategrasso near Milan, a group of the 
GAP (Gruppi d'Azione Patriotic!) released 4 political 

2) August 8, at the prison of Breno (Provincia of Brescia), 

14 politicals liberated. 

3 ) August 18, at the local prison of Fossano (Provincia 
of Piemonte), 9 political prisoners released. 

4) September 15, at tha local prison of Saluzzo (Provin¬ 
cia of Piemonte), 8 prisoners, all condemned to death for 
having operated a clandestine printing press. 

As in the case of France, about 30jt of our WRB contribution 
went toward the urgent support of the wives and children of Ital¬ 
ians who had been deported or executed by the Neo-Fascists or 
Gestapo. A part was also used to relieve the inhabitants of small 


- 544 - 

villages “sacked 11 as reprisal by the S. S. or Fascists. . . Typical 
of this type of aid, . . . the Commander of the 49th Garibaldian 
Brigade, Giambone Detachment, delivered 30 kilos of butter and 12 
kilos of tobacco to the “population of the village of Feletto struck 
by the Nazi-Fascist incendiaries." 

I hope eventually to receive more complete reports as to the 
use of this contribution, but it is becoming more and more difficult 
(and particularly dangerously compromising) to get written reports 
of this nature through. 

Unitarian Service Committee . Noel Field, Director in Switzer¬ 
land of the Unitarian Service Committee, has for some months been 
supporting a group of German political refugees in France who have 
been doing very creditable rescue work among endangered foreign 
refugees in Southern France. /?ur WRB contribution/ served princi¬ 
pally to maintain persons in hiding and to finance the escape of 9 
political refugees to Switzerland and 2 to Spain. 

^ 9echaluz . . . Three major contributions to the “Hechaluz" 

/Jewish Zionist Labor grouty were made through their representative 
here in Switzerland, Nathan Schwalb. The primary purpose of these 
contributions, as reported in Legations 5343, August 17, 7 p.m. , 

1944, was to finance the flight of Jewish refugees from Hungary into 
Bumania. To a much lesser extent they also helped send a number of 
Jews to Slovakia where the situation in the early summer was much 
more favorable for the Jews than it later turned out to be, and to 
finance the brirgjng of a small number of Jews across the Silesian 
border into Slovakia. The funds were sent to Budapest and Brati¬ 
slava in both Swiss franc and dollar currency, which were about the 
only two notes with which effective rescue work could be accomplished. 
All the money safely reached its destination (for which I am most 
thankful, as generally in work of this type one has to allow for 
some loss occasionally when a courier is stopped or searched) as it 
was almost all sent by neutral diplomatic couriers (Turkish, Swedish 
and Swiss and occasionally the Nunciature^ pouch to Bratislava). 
Boughly, I should say that these contributions enabled about 2,000 
persons to escape to Bumania, 250 to Slovakia, and some 500 into 
Northern Yugoslavia, although complete figures are lacking. 

Czech Resistance Movement . As set forth in Legation*s 4566 
of July 21, 3 p.m., 1944, this contribution . . . was paid to Dr. 

Jean Kopecky, officially delegate of Czechoslovakia to the League 
of Nations and less officially representative of the Czech resis¬ 
tance organizations in Switzerland. Dr. Biegner of the World Jewish 
Congress also contributed a similar sum. Theee funds were employed 
to enable the Czech partisans to rescue Jews (capture of the camps 
of Sered and Novaky) and to provide a certain amount of liouid cash 
for the Central Jewish Office (Ustredna Zidov) in Bratislava. I 
should estimate that it saved the lives of close to 1,500 people, 

- 545 - 

although It is hard to know how many of them later fell Into German 
hands when the situation in Slovakia grew more serious for the Jews. 
With reference to the use of these funds see also Legation*e 6619 
of October 5, 8 a.m., 1944. 

Dutch Jewish Coordina ting Committee. A grant to the Dutch 
Jewish Coordinating Committee in Geneva was in the nature of a de¬ 
posit to permit this organization to put up the necessary guarantee 
for the transportation of 50 Dutch Jews from the camp of Bergen Bel- 
sen to Switzerland. It begins to look more and more, however, as 
though these funds would not produce the desired result. The plan 
was organized by a Swiss . . . who has connections with S. S. cir¬ 
cles in Germany and claimed very convincingly that he could arrange 
the transportation of Jews from Bergen Belsen at an expense of 1,000 
Swiss francs per person, the money to remain in Switzerland. We 
were even given assurance that any payment after the war could be 
blocked since we would be supplied with the necessary information 
as to the persons in whose names the money would be deposited (if 
and whan the 50 people arrived in Switzerland) with Swiss banks. 

I am afraid that recent military developments, however, have ren¬ 
dered the carrying out of this plan most doubtful since even an 
S. S. man in the upper brackets would have great difficulty in or¬ 
ganizing the transportation of 50 oersons to the Swiss frontier. 

In case this project falls through (and the deadline has been set 
at December 15th) this money will come back, fl he deposit was re¬ 
funded to the Board in December 1944 when it proved impossible to 
accomplish the proposed rescued 

As reported in Legation's 7754, November 25, 11 a.m., I had, 
as of October 31st, outstanding unpaid commitments of approximately 
40,000 francs for medical parcels to be sent to camps of unassimi¬ 
lated persons in Germany and the cost of the 54,756 kgs. of salvaged 
CRISTINA goods which . . . has not yet JjieejJ collected for. . . 

I have just jQSade another allotment Nathan Schwalb of the 
Hechaluz, in the main for Budapest but in part for Berlin, where 
there are still upwards of 300 Jews in hiding who are in contact 
with the Hechaluz. Their situation is, of course, exceedingly pre¬ 
carious. It is hoped that a small group of young people may be 
brought to Switzerland (the Swiss have already declared themselves 
willing to let them in) within the course of the next few weeks. 


Bern, November 27, 1944. 

Roswell D. McClelland 
Special Assistant to 
the American Minister. 



- 546 - 







Bern, May 30th, 1945 

Dear General O'Dwyer: 

With reference to my letter of April 20 I am pleased to he 
now able to forward for the Board's confidential information and 
records two copies of my accounts. They cover disbursements from 
discretionary War Refugee Board funds made during the period of 
November 1st, 1944 to April 30th, 1945 inclusive, that is, the 
second six months of Board activity conducted from Switzerland. 

The possibilities of usefully "placing" WRB contributions un¬ 
fortunately grew constantly smaller as the military situation in 
Europe developed. During the summer and fall of 1944 the major 
portion of our Board financial assistance went into the Balkans: 
principally Hungary, for the relief and, insofar as possible, res¬ 
cue of the sorely persecuted Jewish minority in that country. But 
in the early winter of this year Budapest finally fell and the 
Russian advance toward Bratislava, a city which had previously 
also been the destination of several WRB contributions, was well 
on its way. Our last grant for Budapest and Bratislava was made 
on December 2nd, 1944 through the "Hechaluz." Thereafter aid for 
Hungarian Jews was channeled to the many thousands still located 
in Austria, particularly in the Vienna area, where they had been 
deported by the Germane and their Hungarian satellites during the 
summer of 1944. To be sure a further contribution for Balkan res¬ 
cue operations was made in February 1945 but it was to cover work 
which had been carried out during the fall of 1944 in passing flee¬ 
ing Hungarian Jews over the border into Rumania. 

Early in 1945, therefore, our War Refugee Board efforts from 
Switzerland had to be refocused on those areas where many victims 
of Axis persecution were still located: Austria, Northern Italy, 
Czechoslovakia—at least that section called the "Protectorate" by 
the Nazis—and of course Germany itself, the vast prison of hundreds 
of thousands of men and women deported there from almost every 
European country. 

As regards relief and rescue operations in Germany financed 
from the Board office in Switzerland, special medical parcels were 
purchased for the terrible women's concentration camp at Ravcns- 

brilck, north of Berlin—during our second six months of activity_ 

funds were sent in clandestinely, and what was more valuable than 
funds, small highly prized, negotiable objects such as cheap Swiss 
watches, pocket knives, razor blades and holders, and the like, to 
help endangered persons to continue to hide and perhaps to work 
their way down toward the Swiss border. An intelligence service 
concerning conditions in the concentration camps, the movement of 

- 547 - 

detainees and the possibilities of distributing parcels where they 
had the greatest chance of reaching their intended beneficiaries, 
was developed in collaboration with a German resistance organiza¬ 
tion. Through the same group currency and objects were sent in 
which permitted a small number of political and racial refugees to 
get across the border into Switzerland. 

Throughout this second period, however, as the Nazis were 
driven back week by week and intensified the ruthlessness of their 
control and surveillance, it became increasingly hard to literally 
rescue persons by extricating them from German occupied territory 
and bring.them to the neutral safety of Switzerland. The situation 
in northern Italy in this respect was further aggravated by the 
presence and activities of an indigenous "Fifth Column" in the form 
of the Neo-Fascists and their various police bands. As in the case 
of the Darnand "Milice" in France they were often more vicious than 
the SS and the Gestapo. 

Concerning WRB operations in this northern Italian zone a 
financial contribution was made in January to the "Women's Defense 
Groups" of the Milan Liberation Committee to enable them to inten¬ 
sify their aid to Jewish women and children in hiding and to help 
them meet the ever increasing and tragic load of their own impri¬ 
soned and fugitives. A few weeks before the sudden surrender of 
the Germane in northern Italy a new relief and rescue channel was 
opened up through the Valdensian Church, that staunch, Protestant 
community settled in the mountain valleys up against the Swiss and 
French borders. As did the Huguenots in the Haute Loire region of 
France during the deportations of the summer of 1942, so did the 
Valdensians in Italy shelter and protect many a tracked and des¬ 
perate refugee regardless of his race or religion. Unfortunately 
hostilities ceased—or rather one should say happily—in northern 
Italy before this WRB sponsored program could really get under way. 

During the first six months of the War Refugee Board's life 
in Switzerland some 733,935.50 Swiss francs—roughly $180,000— 
were disbursed for relief and refugee operations. To this should 
be added the cost of slightly over 50 tons of foodstuffs purchased 
from the American Red Cross and used to make up our first emergency 
parcels for the concentration camps in Germany, which amounted to 
141,747 Swiss francs, or approximately $34,000. These packages 
were delivered by the International Committee of the Red Cross dur¬ 
ing the early fall of 1944, and all reached the camps satisfactori¬ 
ly, although they were not actually paid for until May 1945. During 
the second six months of activity directed from our Swiss base a 
total of 394,679.35 Swiss francs, or about $97,000, were spent. At 
the same time the distribution of the better part of the 300,000 
Board parcels shinned to Sweden and Switzerland—renresenting con¬ 
siderable monetary value—for deportees and civil detainees in Ger¬ 
man controlled areas was supervised in collaboration with the 

- 548 - 

Division of Special Assistance of the International Committee of 
the Red Cross from Switzerland, 

Very sincerely yours, 

rosvell d. McClelland 

Roswell D. McClelland 
Special Assistant to 
the American Minister. 

Brigadier General William O’Dwyer 
Executive Director 
War Refugee Board 
Washington 25, D. C. 

- 549 - 


NOVEMBER 1, 1944,THROUGH MAT 31, 1946 

/Special disbursements were made to financg/ two fairly 
extensive trips of agents inside Switzerland undertaken particular¬ 
ly with a view to obtaining information from incoming refugees 
about the situation on the German side of the border, both in Ger¬ 
many proper and in northern Italy. 

Tomaso Della Porta . Socialist delegate of the Milan Liberation 
Committee and brother of Gisella Della Porta, the woman who did our 
liaison work with the "Women's Defense Groups" in Northern Italy 
during the summer of 1944, funder toojrf a special investigation trip 
to obtain, insofar as possible, additional precise information con¬ 
cerning the camps and prisons which were used by the Germans and 
Neo-Fascists in northern Italy as assembly centers for deportation. 
I was particularly interested in having details on the camp at 
Gries near Bolzano which, after the closing of the ill-famed camp 
at Fossoli di Carpi near Modena, had become the deportation center 
for Jews and political prisoners. From here arrestees were regu¬ 
larly sent to Mauthausen and other German concentration camps. 

As fate would have it Della Porta never got through but, as 
far as I could learn, was arrested in Turin (he had taken the 
"French" route into Italy) by a "Mutti Brigade," one of the many 
Neo-Fascist "police" organizations. I am still attempting to se¬ 
cure information regarding his welfare. He is the only "Board" 
agent we have ever lost so I feel particularly badly about it. 

Papal Nuncio in Bern . The payment to Monsignor Bernardini, 
the Papal Nuncio in Bern, concerns an attempt initiated in the fall 
of 1944 when Sir Clifford Heathcote-Smith, of the Intergovernmental 
Committee on Refugees of Rome, was in Switzerland to intimidate the 
Neo-Fascist police and obtain concessions for if not the liberation 
of a certain number of racial and political detainees in northern 
Italy. Monsignor Bernardini drew our attention to a young Italian 
named Bruno Kiniger (from the Trento region, hence the Austrian 
sounding name), who had served in Zurich as an unofficial represen¬ 
tative for commercial matters of the Neo-Fascist "Government." 

Some months earlier, Kiniger had dissociated himself from the Neo- 
Fascists and was anxious to rehabilitate himself. As it happened, 
he was a relative of Tullio Tamburini, former head of the Fascist 
police. Tamburini in turn was close to both Mvssolini and General 

- 550 - 

Montagna, chief of the Neo-Fascist police, and In a position to 
get at Buffarini, the "Minister of the Interior of the Government 
of the Italian Socialist Republic." According to reliable Infor¬ 
mation, Buffarini was beginning to have aualms of conscience con¬ 
cerning his personal future and accordingly might be open to inti¬ 
midation or threat of eventual treatment as a war criminal. We 
honed that through Kiniger an effort could be made to frighten 
Buffarini and thereby obtain more favorable treatment for at least 
those prisoners in Neo-Fascist hands. We also Instructed Kiniger 
to bring back to us all the information he could collect concern¬ 
ing camps, prisons, the numbers, types and nationalities of detain¬ 
ees In them, and the like. 

Klnlger was also furnished with letters of introduction by 
the Papal Nuncio to Cardinal Schuster of Milan and one or two other 
important Churchmen In northern Italy, underlining the interest of 
the Vatican in an effort of this sort. 

After some delay occasioned by one false start during which 
the Swiss police picked him up trying to cross the border illegally, 
Kiniger got through. He saw both Tamburini and Buffarini, and the 
latter promised to take the matter up with General Montagna. Kiniger 
learned, however, that virtually all of the Jews arrested for depor- 
tation were concentrated in the canro at O-riee which was djrectly 
under the control of the S. and inaccessible to even the Neo- 
Fascists. It was nevertheless possible for Kiniger to obtain one 
immediate, if small, concession: the permission to send into the 
prison of San Vittore in Milan, one of the worst in the whole of 
northern Italy, for detainees, special medical and food parcels. 
Buffarini agreed to facilitate the transportation of such parcels 
from the Swiss border to Milan. W e therefore immediately made up 
a shipment (soap, vitamins, insect powder, condensed milk, choco- 
late, sulfanilamide, vaseline, etc. which was satisfactorily dis¬ 
patched on January 18th. This purchasing was done with the assis- 
tance and through my good friend, Dr. Joseph Weill, of the Union 

„ j practical aid remained about the only tangible result of 

Kiniger s trip, which might have had better results if we could 
have been in touch with him a few months earlier and sent him to 
northern Italy when a larger number of arrestees were still in 
Neo-Fascist hands. 

.. F rejeg Deutsqhlan^ . The financial assistance given to Karl 
"Burkhardt" of the "Freies Deutschland" was for thrfe t£pes of 
work: 1J maintenance in hiding of endangered racial and political 
refugees, particularly near the Swiss border, 2) the "passing" of 
such fugitives over into Switzerland (a total of 14 persons actu- 
were brought into Switzerland between December 1944 and April 
1945: 1 German, 6 Poles, 2 Russians, 2 Czechs and 3 Hungarians), 

- 551 - 

including the cost of false papers and minor bribes, and 3) the 
operation of an intelligence service concerning the concentration 
camps , mainly Dachau, Oranienburg, Buchenvald, and Mauthausen. 

Point l) also involved the sending of compact medico-food parcels 
of the type shipped to San Vittore in Milan. 

^ All three of these operations were financed not so much in 
currency as in kind. From the beginning of 1945 money as such had 
less and less value in Germany. On the other hand, small, much 
sought after, easily negotiable objects such as pocket knives, 
razor blades and holders, cigarette lighters, cheap Swiss watches, 
wallets, aspirin tablets, small tubes of cold cream_in short, hun¬ 

dreds of minor objects such as one can buy in the normal "Five & 
Dime” store at home—had a value far above that of money. I have 
one case on record of a young man who was fed and lodged in hiding 
by a family in Lflrrach for two months for the price of a cheap 
Swi8s watch costing about 25 francs! Second-hand suitcases full 
of such peddler's trinkets smuggled over the border (with the com¬ 
pliance of a sterling Swiss customs' guard) by the Freies Deutsch¬ 
land oddly enough served to save the lives of a good many people. 

The intelligence service involved the collection of informa¬ 
tion which would be of value to us here and to the International 
Red Cross's Division of Special Assistance in the distribution of 
WRB and other parcels in the concentration camps. In this respect 
it was very valuable to know, for instance, what the attitude of 
the present camp commander was toward such relief action, who the 

reliable "homines de confiance" for the national groups in the 

camps were, whether they enjoyed not only the confidence of their 
comrades but had been able to work out a certain "modus vivendi" 

with the camp S. S. officials, who among the guards and internee 

block leaders could be counted on or could be bribed with cigarettes 
or soap, which S. S. men were trying to "change their colors," wheth¬ 
er items were removed from the parcels prior to delivery, were de¬ 
tainees forced to sign for packages they never received, and a great 
many other small facts which played so important a role in the satis¬ 
factory bringing of relief to these men and women. 

Our last contribution to the "Freies Deutschland" on April 15, 
1945, was in the nature of an emergency grant so that advantage 
might be taken of situation in Germany as things began to crack 
up. It served principally to pay out small bribes to camp guards 
and to smooth the way for the "disappearance" of detainees before 
the last-minute desperate excesses of the S. S. were carried out. 

It is difficult to know how many persons were benefited by this 
since in the days between April 18th and May 5th all sorts of es¬ 
capees from all kinds of camps, prisons and work groups streamed 
over the Swiss border from southwestern Germany. 

- 552 - 

Patch Jewish Coordinating Committee . The smaller Board con¬ 
tributions to the "Dutch Jewish Coordinating Committee* 1 in Geneva 
were less to finance rescue operations than to render possible an 
intelligence service of a different sort. During the course of 
many months this organization had slowly built up a very complete 
card file covering in a manner duplicated nowhere else practically 
all the Jewish deportees from the Netherlands, both of Dutch and 
of other nationalities. Their excellent efforts in this direction, 
for personality reasons, were very little or not at all financed by 
the Dutch Legation in Switzerland, but almost entirely with the 
private resources of a young Dutch Jewish journalist, M. H. Gans, 
who pioneered this work. He was ably seconded by Dr. Polak-Daniels, 
who is now head medical officer of the Dutch Government’s repatri¬ 
ation team which hopes to be able to go into Poland to search for 
and return Jewish deportees from Holland. Gans’s work of locating 
or trying to locate deportees in the camps and work companies of 
Germany and German-occupied areas was done with registered M searcher H 
postcards sent out weekly in very large numbers, with prepaid ans¬ 
wers. Out of an average of twenty cards mailed about one answer was 
received, which often consisted of only the official "stamp" of the 
Jewish Community in Upper Silesia or southern Poland. The Dutch 
Jewish Coordinating Committee also engaged in the smuggling of lists 
from Holland and Germany. Our WEB contribution was of the greatest 
value to them to keep this excellent work going. 

Pharmacle Nouvelle. Geneva . Board funds financed the purchase 
of 250 special double pharmaceutical and restorative parcels for 
the women'8 concentration camp at Raven6brttck, Germany. 

Hechaluz . Two grants lyter^f made to the Hechaluz, the young 
workers' Zionist organization, which has consistently done such 
courageous and effective rescue work among persecuted Jewry in 
Poland and the Balkans. You will recall that during the first six 
months of Board activity from Switzerland three contributions were 
made to the Hechaluz. This further financial assistance constituted 
a continuation of Board support for Hechaluz work in those areas 
where this organization was still able to render effective service. 
The first grant was split up as follows: /0ne-hal£7" to_Budapest, 
/ohe-sixt^/ to Prague, j£one-eixt£i7 to Bratislava, and /one-eixth7 

to Berlin. It was primarily used by Nathan Schwalb's correspondents 
in these cities to maintain and protect young Jews in hiding. The 
contribution for Berlin also served to finance the flight of six 
young people, 3 girls, 2 boys, and 1 child to Switzerland where they 
arrived on March 18th. Permission for their entry had already been 
obtained from the Swiss police. 

The ZlastT^ WRB grant helped Nathan Schwalb pay up "back" rescue 
bills. As was the case with most of the payments made into enemy 
territory, they were done by clearing with private parties. Often, 
however, several weeks if not months elapsed before word came back 

- 553 - 

that the local fund* had been made available and the "donor 1 * at 
the Svlee end of the line requested reimbursement. This was a 
situation of this sort, where Rumanian Lei had been advanced for 
rescue operations in the Arad-Timisoara area where the Hechalus 
had relay points. At them Jewish refugees from Hungary being 
passed over into Rumania were fed, sheltered, hidden, fciven false 
papers and money, and sent further, thanks to a certain degree of 
cooperation which had been "worked out" with the local authorities. 

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee . This contribu¬ 
tion was made to Saly Mayer of the "Joint," partly to lighten the 
very heavy financial burden which the Joint Distribution Committee 
was carrying and has always carried, and partly to enable him to 
take advantage of a special opportunity to buy food and clothing 
in Vienna and Bratislava for distribution to Hungarian Jewish de¬ 
portees in Austria. Our grant was actually paid to the "Commission 
Mixte" of the International Red Cross. This more acceptable mode 
of payment, however, permitted Saly Mayer to use other funds in 
Vienna and Bratislava. During January and February of this year, 
the Jews in the Vienna area (there were some 7,000 of them, mainly 
Hungarians deported from Hungary during June and July of 1944, 
plus a few hundred Poles) were under the control of a certain 
Ebner, the head of the Gestapo in Vienna. Ebner was of Austrian 
origin and displayed a definite willingness to cooperate in this 
question of assistance for Jewish deportees. The situation there 
was further improved by the presence of an active and capable ICRC 
delegate, Dr. Tudicum, who had established "cordial" relations with 
Ebner and whom the latter was quite ready to allow to supervise the 
distribution of such relief supplies. Ebner himself dug up the 
goods which consisted of such priceless items as shoes, suits and 
canned meat. We did not inquire too closely into their origin. 
Their price was not exorbitant, and even Dr. Lttwenherz, the direc¬ 
tor of the relief service of the Vienna Jewish Community who was 
still on the job, amazingly enough, was allowed to have his advi¬ 
sory say in the distribution. All in all, the chance was too good 
to be missed even if somewhat unorthodox. 

Milan Liberation Committee . This was a further contribution 
to the excellent relief work being done in northern Italy by the 
"Women*s Defense Groups," to which the WEB had also made grants 
during our first accounting period. This money was spent in much 
the same manners to pay for the shelter and hiding of Jewish 
women and children and to give sorely needed relief to the families 
of Italians imprisoned, executed or deported by the Nazis and the 
Neo-Fascists. It was also used to make up parcels locally which 
were sent into the prisons in Milan, Turin, Genoa, Alessandria, 
Voghera and Brescia. It was not used this time to finance the 
liberation of patriots from the prisons since throughout the spring 
of this year more arms were made available to the partisans by the 
Allies and money could be more economically used to buy food for 

- 554 - 

families and nay them small monthly allowances than in being spent 
to purchase carbines, cartridges or gasoline at very high prices. 

I know, of course, that a certain percentage of such funds were 
always used to "smooth" the way for parcels into prisons by brib¬ 
ing petty officials and guards. The devaluation of the Italian 
Lira, however, increased by such leaps and bounds that the price 
for buying a person out of nrison became almost unapproachable, 
often going into several million Lire. We could, therefore, not 
finance work of that sort. 

lald englaa Church In Northern Italy . As described on page 2 
of my covering letter, this last Board contribution went to Pastor 
Guido Rivoir, a minister of the "Valdensian" Protestant Church, 
located in Lugano. Pastor Rivoir 1 s church has a number of hardy 
little communities for the most part in the high mountain valleys 
up against the French and Swiss borders. They are imbued with 
that same spirit which characterizes the Huguenot communities in 
France today and have always given asylum to fugitives. In Italy 
during Fascism and under the German occupation they did not relin¬ 
quish this tradition, but rather intensified their work in behalf 
of the persecuted. Their particular stronghold is in the region 
between Turin and the Franco-Italian border where they have given 
shelter to a great many refugees trying to get over into France. 
Our WRB grant /of 6,000 Swiss franc^J purchased a million Lire (at 
that time selling at 55 Swiss centimes a hundred!) which were in¬ 
tended to finance the hiding of refugees. As things turned out, 
the war came happily to a more sudden end in northern Italy than 
we had expected so that very little of it could be used for the 
original purpose. I received a note from Pastor Rivoir a few days 
ago, however. In which he explained what he had done with the * 
money. It reads as follows! 

"I was in Italy for a few days (he writes this under 
date of May 24th) and took the opportunity of looking into 
the use which had been made of the funds which the War 
Refugee Board generously placed at our disposal to aid 
victims of Nazi-Fascism. This money served in part to 
liberate persons from the prisons of Milan. The greater 
part of it, however, could not be used since, thank God, 
the regime in northern Italy collapsed. I therefore left * 
this money to a committee formed by Colonel Gustave Ribet, 
commander of the partisan troops for the Lombard region, 
and including Mr. Georges Peyronel, charged with the "eou- 
ration" of the Milan police "Questura, H and Pastor Tron 
(of the Valdensian Church) of the city of Milan to be dis¬ 
tributed to persons who had aided fugitives, such persons 
generally being poor peasants who had lost all, because of 
this aid given, having had their homes burned by the 

- 555 - 

When the question of the Jewish refugees from Bergen-Belsen 
and Theresienstadt actually leaving Switzerland came up there was 
an immediate request from them for a great many small items includ¬ 
ing suitcases, toilet articles, clothing, shoes, etc. Saly Mayer 
agreed generously to cover ^part off the cost of such "departure" 
expenditures. .* . I told him that I would he glad to contribute 
from Board funds what more was necessary. . . I also agreed to de¬ 
fray cash expenditures incurred by the Swiss authorities for the 
train, sanitary and welfare personnel, food supplies, and the like. 


roswell d. McClelland 

Roswell D. McClelland 
Special Representative of the 
War Refugee Board and 
Special Assistant to the Minister. 

Bern, June 2, 1945. 

- 556 - 








Ho. 14393 

London* March ll f 1944 

Subject: Palestine Immigration lumber*. 

The Honorable, 

The Secretary of State 


Upon receipt of the Department's alrgram A-83, 7i20 p.m.» 
January 19, 1944 the Embassy Immediately discussed with the 
appropriate British officials the matter of immigration into 
Palestine and expressed the hope of the United States GoTemnent 
that the British authorities might reconsider their position and 
authorise numbers to be allocated permitting children to enter 
Palestine within the total allowable under the White Paper. 

The Tiew expressed by the foreign Office was that, although 
there is no intention on the part of the British Government to 
close immigration into Palestine after March 31, 1944, (the time 
limit originally expressed in the 1939 White Paper for the immigra¬ 
tion quota established therein) it is nevertheless undesirable to 
freese any substantial number of certificates for cases that may 
never arise. By way of confirming the views expressed in that 
l/ discussion the foreign Office addressed to us a letter dated 
february 18, 1944. A copy is enclosed. 

It will be observed that the foreign Office assumes that the 
aspect of the matter which gives concern to the Department is the 
effect upon Switserland of British refusal to issue to refugee 
children to whom Switzerland may be considering giving temporary 
asylum quota numbers assured to be valid for immigration into 
Palestine after the war. To that presumed basis of the Depart¬ 
ment A s Inquiry the foreign Office addresses its answer, pointing 
out that, so far as it is aware, the Swiss Government has made no 
representations either to the Intergovernmental Committee nor to 
the British Government regarding conditions on which Switserland 
would be willing to receive refugee children. It should parti¬ 
cularly be noted that the foreign Office holds open appropriate 
consideration of the matter if and when the Swiss Government 
approaches the Intergovernmental Committee for concrete assurances. 
The position stated is that the British Government does not wish, 
on a hypothetical basis, to complicate its administering of the 
immigration quota into Palestine. 

- 557 - 

The Sknbassy has taken the occasion, by way of obtaining ex¬ 
pressions of view of possible use to the Department in weighing 
the tenability of the British reply as above, to consult represen¬ 
tatives here of several concerned organizations with regard to 
present practice in issuing quota numbers for immigration into 
Palestine. There is general agreement among them that, for reasons 
of political equilibrium in Palestine and the Arab area while the 
war continues, the British Government is seeking to keep the total 
of immigration into Palestine well within the number previously 
announced, in 6pite of lengthening the period of time to which it 
is to apply. On the other hand there is also general agreement 
that difficulties of travel and exit from enemy-occupied territory 
are the actual determining limitations under present conditions 
rather than lack of availability of numbers. 

The 1939 White Paper (Cmd. 6019, May 1939, entitled PALESTINE, 
Statement of Policy; enclosed with despatch 2679, May 18, 1939) 
laid down certain conditions (page 10 and 11), including Palestine’s 
economic absorptive capacity, to govern the admission of some 
75,000 Jewish immigrants into Palestine in the five year period 
from April 1, 1939 to March 31, 1944. In the House of Commons on 
November 10, 1943 (Parliamentary Debates, vol. 393, No. 120, column 
1152; enclosed with despatch 12278, November 17, 1943) the Secretary 
of State for the Colonies reported that up to the end of September 
1943 the number of Jews who entered Palestine against the total of 
75,000 to be admitted under the existing quota system was 43,922, 
leaving a balance of 31,078 concerning which he made the following 
carefully-worded statement: 

rt . . . There are thus 31,078 who, it may be fairly 
assumed, would have reached it before 31st March, 1944, 
but for the exigencies of the war. His Majesty's Govern¬ 
ment have beer considering this position, and have reached 
the conclusion that it would be inequitable to close the 
doors of Palestine to these persons on account of the 
time factor. No effort will be lacking on the part of 
His Majesty's Government to facilitate their arrival, 
subject to the criterion of economic absorptive capacity." 

The unused balance of 31,078 as of the end of September 1943 
has been reduced at the present to approximately 26,000 according 
to statements informally made to us at the Foreign Office. 

Respectfully yours, 
For the Ambassador: 


1. Copy of letter (W/1586/134/48) 
of January 18, 1944 from A.W.G. 
Randall of the British Foreign 

W. J. Gallman 
Counselor of finbassy 



- 55 * - 





/Enclosure No. 1 to letter 
to State from U.S.Enbassy 
In London// 

No. V 1586/134/40. 

(Refugee Department), 
3, Cleveland Row, 

St. Janes 1 v 

18th February, 1944 

Dear Bucknell, 

Tour letter of 29th January about the Swiss application to 
Germany at the request of the Intergovernmental Committee to allow 
Jewish children to leave Trance* 

Before replying I thought it best to explain our position 
at greater length to Coville, and I should now like to confirm 
this as follows: 

Our understanding is that the Swiss Government has been 
requested to try to obtain exit permits for Jewish children from 
France. If these are given the children will receive hospitality 
in the United States (6,000), in Canada and elsewhere, and there 
will be negotiations with the Spanish and Portuguese Governments 
to get the children in question through those countries in order 
that they may proceed overseas. The Swiss Government will be 
asked to grant temporary asylum to some of the children, but it 
seems more practicable* in view of the number of visas offered 
elsewhere, that the children should be directed through Spain and 

So far the Swiss Government has not obtained any promise of 
exit permits. They have also made, so far as I am aware, no repre¬ 
sentations to the Intergovernmental Committee or to us regarding 
conditions on which they would receive children in their own 
territory. The question of the children going eventually to 
Palestine is therefore entirely hypothetical, and the feeling 
of our authorities is that in these cirerunstances it would be 
undesirable to freeze any substantial number of certificates for 
cases which may never arise, as this would reduce the itock avail¬ 
able for the regular allocations which are made in agreement with 
the Jewish Agency. Of course, if the German Government agreed to 
give exit permits and if asylum offered in countries other than 
Switzerland proved insufficient or it proved impracticable to 
transport the children to those countries, and if the Swiss 

Mr. Howard Bucknell, Jr., 

United States Itoibassy, 

1, Grosvenor Square 

V. 1. 

- 5 59 - 

Government then agreed to take a certain number of children them- 
•elves only on the condition that the children in question were 
received elsewhere at the end of the war, it would be open to the 
Swise Government then to go to the Intergovernmental Committee, which 
would have the duty of seeing how far the Swiss Government's condi¬ 
tion could be met. In this concrete case, the British Government 
could be approached in respect of Palestine or other territories 
for which it is responsible in exactly the same way as other members 
of the Committee could be approached. The mere existence of the 
Intergovernmental Committee and the fact that Switzerland is a 
member of it would appear to be a sufficient assurance to the Swiss 
Government that they will not have to shoulder the present or future 
burden of refugees in Swiss territory with no prospect of International 
assistance, but the assurances your Government and mine have given 
the Swiss Government of*sympathetic consideration over any obstacles 
to a continuance of the Swiss Government's humanitarian action surely 
makes all apprehensions rather unreed. 

In the light of the above, I hope you will agree that our re¬ 
luctance to freeze Palestine permits in a purely hypothetical case 
where no concrete action or objection has been raised by the Swiss 
Government should, if properly understood, prove no hindrance to the 
efforts which are now being made by the Intergovernmental Committee 
and the Swiss Government to persuade the German Authorities to allow 
children to depart, and I should be grateful if this explanation 
could be conveyed to the State Department. We are very anxious that 
the balance of immigration permissible into Palestine should be used 
as far as possible for refugees from Nazi terror; our concern is to 
secure that it is used to the beet advantage and that permits should 
not be frozen for people who may not be able to use them. 

Tour8 sincerely, 



P.S. Since writing the above I have heard that the Swiss 
Government have undertaken to receive 1,500 children 
from Prance if they can reach the frontier, and no 
conditions so far as I know have been attached to 
this offer. 

- 560 - 







March14, 1944 

39, fourteenth 

From War Refugee Board* 

Refer your A-7 of February 10, 1944 regarding the rescue and 
relief of war refugees. 

Please inform the appropriate Irish officials that this Govern- 
aent accepts with deep appreciation the generous and humanitarian 
offer which we understand the Irish Government is prepared to make 
to receive and provide haven for 500 Jewish refugee children* 

It is anticipated that these 500 children may be able to leave 
Prance and to enter lire by transit through Spain and Portugal* 

We are presently examining the matter of securing the shipping 
space necessary for the transportation of these children and will 
advise you further with respect thereto. We are also canvassing the 
possibility of assisting the Irish Government in its humanitarian 
endeavor, with respect to supplies of food and clothing. 

The Swiss Government has been requested to take up the matter 
of evacuating children from France with Vichy, and we are consider¬ 
ing the desirability of requesting similar action on the part of the 
Irish Government, as we understand that it was prepared last year or 
earlier this year to take such action. However, we would appreciate 
your Informally raising this matter with the appropriate Irish authori¬ 
ties to ascertain whether they are still prepared to make such an 
approach to Vichy. 

Tou are also requested to ask the appropriate Irish authori¬ 
ties whether their Government would be willing presently to guarantee 
the admission into Sire after the war of an additional 500 Jewish 
refugee children in the event that they are evacuated from France to 
Switzerland during the war. Such a guarantee would probably enable 
us to Induce the Swiss Government, which may be in a position to 
obtain the release of children from Vichy, to accept larger numbers 
of them for the duration of hostilities. 

We will appreciate being kept promptly and fully advised of all 



- 561 - 




DATED: April 13, 1944 

REC'Ds April 27, 10 a.m. 


Secretary of state 

A-16, April 13, 3 p.m. 

Reference to Department's telegram No. 39, March 14, from War 
Refugee Board. 

The War Refugee Board's telegram was made available to the Irish 
Department of External Affairs, and there is quoted below the reply 
of Mr. Joseph P. Walshe, Permanent Secretary of the Department. 

"Dear Mr. Gray, 

”1 received your letter dated the 22nd March enclosing copy of a 
telegram from the war Refugee Board. 

tt The Government will be very glad to receive and provide haven 
for the 500 Jewish refugee children. The Executive Committee of the 
Red Cross have given their full agreement, and they are ready to make 
arrangements at once for the housing and reception of the children. 

"I should let you know, however, that so far we have had no 
success in securing permission for Jews to leave the occupied countries, 
and it might be better if your Government would ask the Swiss Govern¬ 
ment to obtain the necessary permits. However, we are instructing our 
Charge d*Affaires in Berlin to make a further request. 

n I shall write you later about the guarantee concerning the 
further 500 refugees mentioned at the end of the telegram.* 1 

In the event that the Irish Government has any success in obtain¬ 
ing permission for the Jewish children to leave the occupied countries, 
the Department will be immediately advised. 


- 562 - 




FROM; Secretary of State, Washington 

TO; American Legation, Bern 

DATED; March 18. 1944 

NUMBER; 891 


Pursuant to Part 68.56 (a) (16) of the Regulations of November 
19, 1941 as amended concerning aliens entering the United States, the 
following special instructions relating to the issuance of visas to 
refugee children are issued in an attempt to cause the Government of 
Switzerland to give refuge to additional refugee children from Prance; 

Authorisation is given to consular officers in Switzerland to 
issue during the present quota year in the aggregate up to 4000 im¬ 
migration visas to refugee children who shall have arrived in Switzer¬ 
land from Prance on or after January 1 of this year and before July 1 
of this year. Specific instructions from the Department may extend 
this latter date. The visas are to be issued without regard to 
religious nationality or stateless status and without regard to the 
question of availability of means of transportation to the United States. 
The children which this instruction covers shall be under 16 years of 
age at the time the visas are issued and of course are subject to the 
statutory immigration requirements of Section 3 of the Act of February 
5, 1917 except that they may be considered to meet the public charge 
requirements since the Attorney General has found that satisfactory 
arrangements for their support have been made. 

With respect to the determination of questions under Section 
58.47 of the Regulations of November 19, 1941 as amended, concerning 
aliens entering the United States, no consideration shall be given 
to the existence of the relationships described in Section 58.48 
thereof. During the same quota year replace visas may be issued to 
those children who are still qualified therefor under this instruction 
and who are still under 16 years of age at the date when such replace 
viBas are issued. It is the intention of the Department, subject to 
the quota laws, to assign numbers from the quota for next year to 
cover visas issued pursuant to this instruction under ths quota for 
this year and to repeat this process each year until at least 6 months 
after the present hostilities between Germany and the United States 
have ceased. Thus it is intended that children to whom visas are 
issued in accordance with this instruction, except children who in 
the interim reach 16 years of age, will continue to hold visas until 
transportation is available to the United States. Furthermore, the 
foregoing assumes no pertinent adverse change in the present quota 
laws. You should report to the Department for further instructions 

- 563 - 

the cases of children who have passed their sixteenth birthday in the 
interim desiring to obtain new visas or replace old ones. There is no 
need to register and fingerprint children under 14 years of age. 

The Zurich Consulate General will be the supervisory and control 
office for the assignment of quota numbers to offices in Switzerland 
equipped for issuing immigration visas or to which Zurich can furnish 
equipment. The following inclusive non-preference quota numbers 
are allotted to Zurich for this purpose: 65 to 234 Belgian; 265 to 
514 Czechoslavak; 145 to 444 french; 1031 to 3430 German; 157 to 466 
Hetherland; and 1084 to 1683 Polish quotas. 

These visas may be issued at the rate of 25^ of each allotment 
monthly. At the end of each month Zurich should submit by cable con¬ 
solidated quota reports, returning any unused numbers and giving name 
of child, quota number, and date and place of issuance. A request 
should be made by cable if additional quota numbers of the countries 
mentioned or of any other country are desired. An estimate of quota 
numbers needed for the fiscal year 1944-1945 should be submitted by 
cable before June 1. Consular officers in Switzerland should be in¬ 
formed. You should advise the appropriate Swiss authorities concern¬ 
ing this instruction and state that this Government earnestly hopes 
that the Government of Switzerland will promptly take such action, 
direct or indirect, as will facilitate and expedite the movement of 
children to Switzerland from France. Furthermore, you may advise the 
Government of Switzerland that the War Refugee Board will undertake 
to arrange for any financing ihat may be needed to provide maintenance 
for refugees from enemy oppression arriving in that country. 

It is requested that you report the reaction of the Swiss and 
that developments in this matter which may be of interest be sent to 
the Department. 





TO: American Legation, Bern 

PROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATE: July 3, 1944 

HUMBER: 2236 


Reference is made herewith to Department's «arch 18 telegram 
Ho. 891. 

This is to inform you that provisions concerning issuance of 
immigration visas to refugee children which was mentioned in refer¬ 
ence cable has been extended to 1945, July 1 of that year. For is¬ 
suance July through October the nonpreference quota immigration 
numbers given below were allotted to Zurich: 

German 609 to 3008; Belgian 31 to 200; French 83 to 382; 
Polish 162 to 761; Netherland 81 to 360; and Czechoslovak 63 to 

This is 25^ monthly. Additional allotment will be made then, 
it is requested that you inform consuls and current information as to 
developments would l?e appreciated by the Department. 


- 565 - 




Secretary of State 


7589, Seventeenth 



DATED: November 17, 1944 
HEC’D: 8:37 am. 18th 

Por WEB from McClelland. 

Department 1 ! 891, March 18. 

„ 1 J laT ® recently been approached by organisations reeponeibl. In 

5'“* erl “^°£_“ re f wfugee children which are anrious to know 
whether 4,000 Onited States immigration visas authorised in Department's 
wire under reference will still be available after this war. 

iay information you could secure concerning this question would be 


- 566 - 




Distribution of trus 
reading only by special 

Hovember 29, 1944 
1 p.m. 

arrangement* (Secret V) 




The following for McClelland is WEB 299. 

Beference your 7589 of lovember 17* 

The authorization to which you refer was given for the purpose 
of encouraging Swiss willingness to receive refugee children by 
concrete U. 8. action assuring their evacuation. Accordingly, the 
authorization will remain in effect as long as necessary to influence 
Swiss action with respect to refugee children seeking admission to 
Switzerland to escape enemy persecution. Whether in order to accomplish 
this purpose it will be desirable to continue the authorization for a 
period beyond the time when flight from enemy persecution is necessary, 
is a matter on which the Board would appreciate your views. 

Of course, visas issued pursuant to this authorization are subject 
to the assurances with respect to replacement contained in Departments 
891 of March 18. 


(A ) 

- 567 - 



RECT April 12, 1944 

This telegram must be 4 p.iu 

paraphrased before being 

communicated to anyone 

other than a Government 

Agency. (BR) 




For the Minister from the War Refugee Board. 

Reference your airgram A-6 February 34, 1944. 

A principle means of assisting in the rescue of victims of enemy 
oppression and persecution is to offer the neutral nations contiguous 
to enemy-controlled territory effective and concrete guarantees that 
such refugees will not in large numbers remain after the war. By this 
means such neutrals may be induced to receive at this crucial time in¬ 
creased numbers of refugees. Thus, the Governments of the United Statait 
United Kingdom, Soviet Union, Luxembourg, Yugoslavia, Norway, Greece, 
Belgium, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and The Netherlands and the French 
Committee have already agreed in principle that each of them will receive 
after the war its nationals who have fled to asylums in other countries 
and to assure such conditions in enemy countries as will permit the 
return thereto of all persons who have fled therefrom to refuge else¬ 
where. Obviously, however, it is probable that a number of refugees 
will not as a practical matter be able or willing for a variety of 
reasons to return to their former homes. Just how large this number 
will be is uncertain, but the neutral countries above referred to are 
aware of this probability and for this reason hesitate freely to admit 
refugees seeking asylum. 

In an effort partially at least to solve this problem the depart¬ 
ment has authorised American consular officers in Switzerland to issue 
up to 4,000 visas to refugee children of any nationality and regardless 
of stateless status arriving in Switzerland from France during the first 
six months of 1944. The Department has further stated its intention, 
within the limits of the quota law, to replace such visas as they expire 
until at least six months after the war. Similar provision is about to 
be made for the issuance of an additional 1,000 vitas to refugee children 
escaping from France to Spain. 

You are requested to advise appropriate officials of the Australian 
government of the foregoing and to inquire whether the Australian govern¬ 
ment will take action parallel to our own. In this connection, you may 

- 568 - 

wish to advise such officials that the War Refugee Board is gratified 
by the recent Increase to an aggregate of 300, the number of refugee 
children that it has been announced Australia will receive. 


In this connection, however, it is of interest that it was authori¬ 
tatively reported here in December 1936 that the Australian government 
announced that it would receive 15,000 European refugees over a three 
year period* It is our understanding that approximately only 6,500 
refugees were received pursuant to that program. Accordingly, you are 
requested to inquire as to the present status of such program, and if the 
same is still operative, to approach appropriate officials of the 
Australian government with the suggestion that that fact be made known 
to Switzerland, Spain and Turkey as an inducement to them to receive 
additional refugees. If you are Informed that the program is no longer 
in operation, please approach appropriate officials of the Australian 
government in an effort to secure its revival. 

The War Refugee Board has been approached in connection with a 
program to colonise luropean Jews in Northwestern Australia known as the 
Kimberley Project. We are advised that on March 31. 1943, X. J. Holloway, 
Australian Minister for Social Services and Health wrote with respect to 
this projects QUOTE The West Australian government had agreed and the 
federal Government were giving favorable consideration to the project 
when the war put all projects, other than war, on one side. UHQU0TE The 
project appears also, from letters made available to the War Refugee Board, 
to have had the support as* recently as a year ago of the Anglican Arch¬ 
bishop of Perth, the Presbyterian Moderator General, the Methodist Presi¬ 
dent General, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, and the Australasian 
Council of Trade Unions, Please make appropriate inquiries to determine 
whether anything is being done at the present time to further or to 
ascertain the feasibility of this project. .On October 28, 1943, the 
War Refugee Board is informed. Prime Minister Curtin wrote concerning lti 
QUOTE The whole question of immigration into Australia, particularly 
having regard to the conditions that will exist at the conclusion of 
hostilities is one that requires to be fully explored from all aspects. 
Plans are at present in progress to set up a Committee to study the 
various phases of the general problem and, until recommendations are made 
by that body, the Government is not in a position to formulate a definite 
policy. UNQUOTE. Please ascertain and advise the Department whether 
such a Committee has been constituted and, if so, whether it has made 
any study of the Kimberley project and its practicability. 

The War Refugee Board is of the view that the mere knowledge that 
a concrete proposal such *s the Kimberley project is receiving serious 
study by an Australian governmental committee on immigration matters 
might b*» some aid in further opening neutral borders to refugees from 
enemy-controlled territories and thus in saving the lives of many. It 
is with this thought in mind therefore that we suggest you make the 
inquiry above indicated. You may make this view of the War Refugee 
Board known in appropriate quarters if the occasion should arise and 
you deem it advisable to do so. Consideration is being given to the 

- 569 - 

advisability of discussing the Kimberley project and other refugee 
problems with Prime Minister Gurtin during his forthcoming visit to 
the United States. Please keep the Department advised. 

You have requested clarification of work contemplated by the War 
Befugee Board and clarification of its connection with IOC and UNBBA. 

UIBBA. and IOC are both international in character, while the War 
Befugee Board is an organisation of the united States set up to carry 
out the policies of the United States Government. The War Befugee 
Board has been created for speedy action and is dedicated to measures 
to secure withdrawal of victims of oppression from enemy or enemy- 
occupied territory and where that is not possible, to measures to 
alleviate their condition. The War Befugee Board is prepared to ren¬ 
der every assistance to both UnHRA and IOC in any projects they have 
undertaken or will undertake with the view to bring about the speedy 
rescue of victims of enemy oppression. 

At the moment Sir Herbert Xmmerson and Patrick M. Malin a re in the 
United States to discuss relationships. 

(OLW ) 

- 570 - 




MJB April 15, 1944 

7 p.m. 



For the Personal and Confidential Information of the Ambassadors 

at Panama, Habana, Ciudad Trujillo, Bogota, Lima, Santiago, 

Montevideo and Mexico, D.F. 

With further reference to the Department's circular airgram of 
January 26, 7 p.m*, and to subsequent communications on refugee matters, 
you are informed that the Department has now authorized the American 
consular officer in Switzerland to issue up to four thousand quota im¬ 
migration visas to refugee children up to sixteen years of age without 
regard to religion, nationality or stateless status, to close relatives 
residing in eneny, eneny-controlled or occupied territory, or to the 
availability of means of transportation to the United States. The pur¬ 
pose of this authorization is to facilitate the escape to Switzerland 
of orphaned or abandoned children by giving assurances to the Swiss 
Government that these children will not remain in Switzerland after the 
termination of hostilities in Europe. The authorization contains pro¬ 
visions for the continued renewal of the visas until such time as ade¬ 
quate transportation facilities to the United States become available. 
Private sources have posted bond with the Attorney General of the 
United States to assure this Government that the immigrating children 
will not become public charges. 

If there are private agencies in the country to which you are ac¬ 
credited willing and able to undertake a program for the care of 
refugee children, the War Refugee Board is confident that it can make 
arrangements to provide those agencies with adequate funds for the 
maintenance, education and welfare of as many children as the Govern¬ 
ment of that country would be willing to admit. Should it prove 
necessary, funds would undoubtedly be available to meet transportation 
expenses from Switzerland to that country. 

Kindly approach appropriate officials of the Government to which 
you are accredited, inform them of the foregoing and request them to 
give assurance to the Swiss Government through their diplomatic mission 
in Bern that they will accept up to a fixed number of refugee children 
in a manner similar to that of this Government. For the information 
of the Government to which you are accredited, it is conservatively 
estimated that there are in France alone eight to ten thousand abandoned 
or orphaned refugee children. Should that Government be willing to make 
this humanitarian offer, please request the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
to authorize its chief of mission in Bern to issue the appropriate 

- 571 - 

number of immigration visas and to maintain their validity until 
suitable transportation facilities from Switzerland to its country 
become available. The Government may be informed that the special 
representative of the War Refugee Board attached to the American 
Legation in Bern will be glad to cooperate with the diplomatic and 
consular officers of the other American Republics in this as well 
as in all other refugee matters. 

Please report by telegraph whether this suggestion has been 
favorably received by the Government to which you are accredited and, 
if so, the number of children it is prepared to admit. 


- 572 - 




Rio de Janiero 

DATED: August 22, 1944 

REC»D: August 30, 5 p.m. 

To the Secretary of State 

Washington, D. C. 

A-1568, August 22, 2 p.m. 

Reference is made to iJhbassy 1 * despatch No. 16511 of June 20, 
1944 and to previous correspondence concerning the attitude of 
Brazil toward admitting refugees into its territory. 

Dr. Leao Velloso tells me that President Vargas himself has 
now approved the plan to bring 500 refugee children to Brazil, 
provided that the Brazilian Government did not incur the expenses 
of transportation to and maintenance in Brazil. He has according¬ 
ly charged General Ivo Soares, Chairman of the Brazilian Red Cross, 
with making suitable arrangements with appropriate Jewish welfare 
agencies here to take care of them. 

Official announcement is to follow shortly. 


- 573 - 





American Embassy 
San Jose, Costa Rica 
DATED: June 16, 1944 
REC'D: June 20, 10 a.m 

Secretary of State 

A-390 of June 16, 1944 10 a.m. 

The Embassy has discussed the question reported in my confiden¬ 
tial Airgram no. 375 of June 10, of Costa Rica's receiving refugee 
children with Senor Mendez, head of the Patronate Nacional de la 
Infancia, a semi-official agency charged with the care of orphaned 

Senor Mendez stated that hie organization would he able under 
certain conditions, to place one thousand children in private homes 
in Costa Rica and might Itself be able to take a smaller quota. He 
wished to know, however, before the Costa Rican Government makes a 
formal commitment, whether assurances could be given that the children 
would remain permanently in Costa Rica, for he said that many private 
families would be reluctant to accept children who might be returned 
to Europe after the war. 

He stated that the expenses of any children so accepted would be 
taken care of by the families concerned, but that the War Refugee 
Board would have to undertake transportation expenses. Should the 
Patronate take some children, all expenses would have to be paid, 
for the budget is not large. 

If the Department can assure the children's permanency in Costa 
Rica, it is believed that the Costa Rican Government will be agree¬ 
able to receiving as many children as Senor Mendez recommends. 






- 574 - 




No. 7845 Hahana, September 7, 1944 


Subject: Ouba Agrees to Accept 1000 Refugee Children 


The Honorable 

The Secretary of State, 

Washington, D. C. 


In amplification of my telegram No. 798 of September 5, 7 p.m. t 
I have the honor to enclose copy and translation of Note No. 2219 
from the Ministry of State wherein the Government of Cuba agrees to 
accept 1,000 refugee children in France and Hungary. 

I have not been apprised of the manner in which Cuba proposes 
to h andle thiB matter, but I shall advise the Department immediately 
of further developments. 

Respectfully yours. 

For the Charge d*Affaires a.i.: 


Garret G. Ackerson, Jr. 

First Secretary of Sabassy 


1. Copy of Foreign Office 

note No. 2219 /Knitted—Ed^/ 

2. Translation thereof 


/inclosure Vo. 2 to Dispatch 
Ho. 7845 dated September 7, 

- 575 - 


The Ministry of State presents its compliments to the Embassy 
of the United States of America and in connection with the memorandum 
from the Embassy dated August 17 regarding the admission into Cuba 
of 1,000 refugee children who are at present in France and Hungary, 
is pleased to advise that the Government of Cuba agrees to offer 
lodging on our soil to the indicated minors and that it is disposed 
to offer all facilities to carry out this humanitarian proposal. 

The Ministry of State avails itself of this opportunity to 
renew to the Embassy of the United States of America the assurances 
of its highest consideration. 

Habana, September 5, 1944 




FROM: American Embassy, Ciudad Trujillo 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: May 4, 1944 

NUMBER: 219 


With reference to Department's April 15 circular airgram Foreign 
Office informed Embassy this morning that Dominican Government would 
receive a minimum of 1,000 refugee children up to 16 years of age, 
and a maximum of 2,000* Upon their arrival in this country, he stated 
that private institutions subsidized by the state would take care of 


- 577 - 



THOM: American Embassy, Ciudad Trujillo 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

BASED: May 19, 1944 

HUMBER: 240 


I was informed by the To reign Minister that the Colombia Consul 
at Bern is merely in charge of Dominican archives and is not a bona 
fide representative of Dominican interests in Switserland. With 
further reference to the Department’s telegram of May 17, 1944, No. 
200 and in view of the above, the Toreign Minister informally told 
me that it was the intention of the Toreign Office to send a note to 
the Embassy suggesting that the Swiss Government be advised by the 
American representative in Bern of the Dominican Governments' inten¬ 
tion to accept a miniwum of 1,000 refugee children and the maximum 
of 2,000. It was added by the Toreign Minister that the note would 
also suggest that it would appreciate the American Government's 
accepting responsibility for the issuance of the visas if this is 
agreeable to it. As soon as we have received an official communica¬ 
tion to this effect, we will inform the Department. 


- 578 - 







No. 2140 tyiito, Ecuador, September 15, 1944 

Subject: Ecuadoran Response to Proposal to Receive Refugee 

The Honorable 
The Secretary of State, 



With reference to the Embassy's 
1944, and the Embassy's telegram No. 
to enclose a copy and transla tlon of 
try for Foreign Affairs indicating its belief that Ecuador would be able 
to accept approximately three hundred orphaned or abandoned children 
from Europe under the conditions outlined in the Department's tele¬ 
gram No. 630 of August 10, 9 p.m., and previous communications. 

Respectfully yours. 

For the Ambassador: 



James W. Gantenbein 
Second Secretary of Embassy 

despatch No. 2053 of August 29, 
908 of today, I have the honor 
an aide memoire from the Minis- 



1. Copy of aide menoire /Omitted — Ed J 

2. Translation 


- 579 - 

/Enclosure No. 2 to Dispatch. 
No. 2140 dated September 14, 
1944 J 



Aide MemoIre 

With reference to the aide me , mo ire addressed by the Ministry 
for Foreign Affairs to the Embassy of the United States of America 
on August 24 of this year informing it that Ecuador was prepared 
to receive a group of orphaned or abandoned European children under 
the conditions set forth in said communication, the Ministry for 
Foreign Affairs has the honor to state that the matter, having been 
considered by the Ministry of Social Welfare, it is believed that 
Ecuador would be able to receive up to 300 children provided that the 
War Befugee Board furnished the funds necessary for the case. 

The number indicated in the preceding paragraph might vary, 
nevertheless, in accordance with the provisions which the above 
mentioned board might make for each child, the adequacy of which is 
to be submitted to the Judgment of the Ecuadoran Government. 

o o 

- 580 - 



Y San Salvador, El Salvador, May 4» 1944 

No. 1531 

SUBJECT: Admission of Jews and other war refugees 
into El Salvador. 

The Honorable 

The Secretary of State 


I have the honor to refer to the Department's confidential circu¬ 
lar airgram dated April 20, 7:35 p.m., and to report that I conveyed 
its purport to the Salvadoran Minister for Foreign Affairs at an inter¬ 
view on the morning of April 25, which was supplemented by a note 
later the same day, a copy of which is attached hereto. 

I have now received from Dr. Avila a personal letter, the English 
version of which is transcribed below: 

"San Salvador, May 2, 1944* 

My dear Mr. Thurston: 

I take pleasure in advising you that my Government 
views with empathy and in principle is in agreement with 
the suggestion to which your esteemed letter of April 25 
refers to the end that El Salvador would grant refuge to 
orphaned or abandoned children now within the territory 
occupied or controlled tjy the enemy, and that to this end 
it would construct a suitable building; but, before reach¬ 
ing a final conclusion it would desire to know whether the 
cost of the building, the feeding and education etc. of the 
Children would be borne by the War Refugee Board; and 
finally all the expenses which that Board would be willing 
to meet for more or less 100 children. 

I beg you therefore to give me this information if 

For your kindness I thank you in advance. 

I am, as always your affectionate friend, 



- 581 - 

When I spoke to Dr. Avila he made no mention of the fact that 
his Government might expect us to defray the cost of a building in 
which to lodge the refugees under consideration, but did inquire 
whether the war Refugee Board would defray all costs of transporting 
the refugees to El Salvador, maintaining them here for such time as 
might be decided upon, and of their eventual removal from the country 
His letter makes no reference to the latter point and introduces the 
new one relating to the cost of the building. 

Respectfully yours. 



Copy of letter to 
Dr. Avila dated 4/25/44 

- 532 - 





Enclosure No. 1 to San Salvador, April 25, 1944 

Dispatch No. 1531 
dated May 4, 194^7 

My dear Dr. Avila* 

In confirmation of my statements this morning I take pleasure in 
advising you that my Government has now authorized the American con¬ 
sular officers in Switzerland to issue up to four thousand quota im¬ 
migration visas to refugee children up to sixteen years of age without 
regard to religion, nationality or stateless status, to close relatives 
residing in enemy, enemy-occupied or controlled territory, or to the 
availability of means of transportation to the United States. The 
purpose of this authorization is to facilitate the escape to Switzer¬ 
land of orphaned or abandoned children by giving assurances to the 
Swiss Government that these children will not remain in Switzerland 
after the termination of hostilities in Europe. The authorization 
contains provisions for the continued renewal of the visas until such 
time as adequate transportation facilities to tne United States be¬ 
come available. Private sources have posted bond with the Attorney 
General of the United States to assure this Government that the im¬ 
migrating children will not become public charges. 

Should there be private agencies in hi Salvador willing and able 
to undertake a program for the care of refugee children, the War 
Refugee Board is confident that it can make arrangements to provide 
these agencies with adequate funds for the maintenance, education 
welfare of as many children as the Government of El Salvador would be 
willing to admit. Should it prove necessaiy, funds would undoubtedly 
be available to meet transportation expenses from Switzerland to this 

With respect to the foregoing, it would be gratifying were the 
Government of El Salvador to give assurances to the Swiss Government 
of its w i l l ingness to accept a certain number of refugee children in 
a similar manner. It is conservatively estimated that there are in 
France alone eight to ten thousand abandoned or orphaned refugee 

Should the Government of El Salvador be willing to make this 
humanitarian offer, it is suggested that the Salvadoran representative 
in Bern issue the appropriate number of immigration visas and maintain 
their validity until suitable transportation facilities from Switzer¬ 
land to El Salvador become available. The special representative of 
the War Refugee Board attached to the American Legation in Bern will 
be glad to cooperate with the Salvadoran representatives in this as 
well as in all other refugee matters. 


- 58 3 - 

I shall be grateful if Your Excellency will inform me as quickly 
as may be possible of the attitude of the Government of El Salvador 
toward this question and, if the suggestion above presented is fav¬ 
orably received, what number of children it is prepared to admit into 
this country. 

Cordially and sincerely, 



- 584 - 








Ho. 1104 

Guatemala, May 16, 1944 

Subject: Evacuation of Refugee Children 
from Europe, 

The Honorable 

The Secretary of State, 

Washington, D.C. 


I have the honor to refer to the Department*• circular airgram 
dated April 20, 7:36 p.m., 1944, outlining the Department*• policy 
with regard to the acceptance by the United States of up to 4,000 
refugee children under immigration visas and requesting that assur¬ 
ances be sought of the Government to which I am accredited that a 
proportionate number of children would be accepted by it in like 

The matter having been broached to the Government of Guatemala 
in the Embassy*s note no, 164 of April 26, 1944, I have now received 
in reply, a note from the Foreign Office (no. 6130 dated May 11, 1944), 
which is enclosed in copy and translation, it will be observed that 
the Guatemalan Government has agreed to accept up to 100 children 
under the conditions outlined, but would prefer that so far as it 
will be possible, these children be selected from French and Belgian 

Respectfully yours, 




1/2/ Copy /omitted — Edjy and translation of 

Foreign Office note no. 6130, May 11, 1944. 

- 585 - 





/Enclosure Ho. 2 to Dispatch 
Ho. 1104 dated May 15 # 1944 J 


Secretariat for foreign Affairs 
Republic of Guatemala 
Diplomatic Section 

Ho. 6130 Guatemala, May 11, 1944. 

Mr. Ambassador: 

I have had the honor of receiving Tour Excellency* s courteous 
note Ho. 164 of April 26, 1944, in which you informed me of the will¬ 
ingness of the Government of the United States to receive in its ter¬ 
ritory four thousand refugee children, from those who are now abandon¬ 
ed or orphaned in Europe, as a consequence of the hardships of war. 

^ taken due note of the conditions of this acceptance, which 

Tour Excellency is good enough to set forth in your courteous commun¬ 

Tour Excellency is good enough to transmit an invitation from the 
United States Government to the Guatemalan Government to collaborate 
in this relief work and to receive, in a similar manner, a specified 
number of these children, victims of war; and, to this end, offers 
the contribution and necessary help of the War Relief Board. 

I take pleasure in informing Tour Excellency that the Government 
of Guatemala gladly accepts participation in the humanitarian work 
of aiding these helpless children, and is willing to receive in its 
territory a number proportionate to that accepted by the United States. 

In consequence I am pleased to beg Tour Excellency's valuable 
cooperation so that arrangements necessary may be mde for the Swiss 
Government to give provisional refuge to one hundred children, who 
will be brought to Guatemalan territory as soon as possible. 

I courteously beg Tour Excellency to note that, even though in 
this participation the Government of Guatemala does not wish to make 
nationality distinctions, or any of race or religion, it would appre¬ 
ciate it if the hundred children to be given refuge in this Republic 
might be selected, preferably, from French or Belgian children. 

in due time this Secretariat will give appropriate instructions 
to the Guatemalan representative at the place indicated for the 

- 586 - 

issuance of the necessary vitas on the documents of these children. 

I avail myself of this opportunity 9 Mr. Ambassador, to renew the 
assurances of ay highest and most distinguished consideration. 



His Ixcellency Boas Long 

Ambassador S. and P. of the United States, 



- 537 - 




Secretary of State 

A-165, April 27, 3 p.m. 

My A-163 of April 25, 5:30 p.m. concerning refugee children under 
sixteen years of age. 

The Minister for Foreign Affairs informed me yesterday that 
President Carias appears willing for Honduras to receive a maximum 
ol fifty (50) children, and that information as to the sex and age 
preferred may be supplied later. I gathered that some preference as 
to racial origin (which may possibly mean that Polish, French, or 
some other class of children would be more acceptable than Jews) 
might also be expressed. Acceptance of refugee children would be on 
the condition that all expenses of transportation and of maintenance 
be met by other than Honduran agencies. 

Since Honduras has no diplomatic or consular representatives in 
Switzerland at the present time, perhaps the Department can suggest 
some practicable form of visa procedure. 

Clarification on the following point would be helpful: Are the 
children expected to remain in Honduras the rest of their lives, or 
would they be returned to their countries of origin after termination 
of the present war? 



Tegucigalpa, Honduras 
No. A-165 

DATED: April 27, 1944, 
3 p.m. 

REC*D: May 3, 11 a.m. 


- 588 - 



FROM: Amembassy, Managua 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: May 5, 1944 

NUMBER: 271 


Reference is made herewith to the Department's airgram of 
7:35 p.m., April 20, 1944. 

The Nicaraguan Consul in Bern has been authorized by his Govern¬ 
ment to visa the passports of one hundred children without distinction 
of nationality or religion in agreement with representative of War 
Refugee Board there and to keep these visas valid until transporta¬ 
tion becomes available to Nicaragua* 



- 589 - 









No. 2148 

Asuncion, Paraguay, June 3, 1944, 

Subject: Paraguayan Government willing to receive 

refugee children. 

The Honorable 

The Secretary of State 




I have the honor to refer to the Department's confidential 
circular airgram of April 20, 1944, 7:35 p.m. to certain Embassies 
stating that the Department has now authorized the American consular 
officers in Switzerland to issue up to four thousand quota immigration 
visas to refugee children, and requesting this Embassy to approach the 
Paraguayan Government with a view to obtaining its consent to accept¬ 
ing a fixed number of refugee children and giving assurances to the 
Swiss Government of such willingness. 

There has now been received a note from the Ministry of Foreign 
Relations on this subject, in reply to this Embassy’s Note of May 5, 
1944. Copies and translations of these notes are transmitted herewith, 
and it will be noted that the Paraguayan Government is willing to 
cooperate in this work provided that adequate financial assistance is 
available for the purpose. 

Ko respects the notification by the Paraguayan Government to the 
Swiss Government, concerning which nothing is said in the Paraguayan 
note, it should be mentioned that the Paraguayan Government does not 
maintain a diplomatic mission in Switzerland. 

Respectfully yours, 


Leslie E. Reed 

Charge d’Affaires ad interim 


1# Copy and translation /Omitted-Ed./ of Embassy’s Note No. 

260 of May 5 # 1944. ~ 

2. Copy /Snitted-Ed. J and translation of Note No. 461, May 21, 
1944,““from Ministry of Foreign Relations. 

- 590 - 





/Enclosure No. 1 to 
Dispatch No. 2148 
dated June 3, 1944.7 

Note No. 260 

Asuncion, May 5, 1944 


With reference to previous conversations with Tour Excellency 
and with your distinguished predecessor regarding the possibility 
that Paraguay may participate in the humanitarian work of giving 
asylum to some of the unfortunate refugees from Europe, I have the 
honor to inquire concerning the attitude of your Government with 
respect to receiving some refugee children. 

It is estimated that there are in France alone, 8,000 to 10,000 
abandoned or orphaned refugee children, and the War Refugee Board is 
endeavoring to make arrangements for their care in the future. Uy 
Government has decided to permit the immigration to the United States 
of up to 4,000 children under 16 years of age irrespective of their 
nationality, religion or stateless status and has authorized the 
granting of the necessary visas by American consular officers. These 
visas will remain valid or may be renewed until such time as trans¬ 
portation facilities to the United States may be available. 

If there are private organizations or agencies in Paraguay which 
are willing and able to care for a group of refugee children, it is 
believed that the War Refugee Board can provide such agencies with 
adequate funds for the maintenance, education, and welfare of as many 
children as your country would be willing to admit. Should it be 
necessary, funds would also be available to cover their transporta¬ 
tion expenses from Europe to Paraguay. 

If your Government is willing to participate in this work, and 
a suitable agency in Paraguay is disposed to assume the care of such 
children, your Government may desire to so inform the Swiss Govern¬ 
ment. Upon receiving information of the attitude of Your Excellency^ 
Government in this matter, I shall be glad to furnish further details 
of the arrangements which are being made, if such information is 

Please accept. Excellency, the renewed assurance of my most 
distinguished consideration. 

His Excellency 
Dr. Horacio Chiriani 

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship 

- 591 - 





/Enclosure No* 2 to 
ULspatch No. 2148 
dated June 3, 1944.7 


Mr. Charge d»Affaires: 

With reference to Note D.P. & D. 402 of the 10th instant, I have 
pleasure in quoting the following communication received from the 
Ministry of Education, which states: 

M 536, Asuncion, May 26, 1944. Most Excellent Mr. Minister: 

I have pleasure in addressing Your Excellency in order to acknowl¬ 
edge receipt of Note 398 of May 8 of the present year from your 
Chancellery, as well as the authenticated copy of document No. 260 
from the American Qnbassy which accompanies it. With reference to 
the contents of the document referred to, this Ministry desires to 
ammounce its complete conformity to collaborate in relieving the 
affliction* of European childhood deprived of homes by the present 
war, accepting the number^of refugees which may be fixed in view 
of, and with previous determination of our possibilities. In order 
to make possible this noble activity, this Ministry ventures to 
point out the necessity that the economic collaboration offered 
contemplates the construction of a building (internado) adequate for 
the purpose desired, and its equipment, as well as the amounts nec¬ 
essary for the maintenance and clothing of the refugee children. 

This Ministry would bear the cost of the administrative and teach¬ 
ing staff of the asylum, in order to assure the pupils the benefits 
of the most complete education possible. Within these general lines, 
this Ministry will remain in the expectation of further information 
and proposals on the subject. Receive, Excellency, the expressions 
of my special consideration. Signed: Juan Dario Quiros, Minister." 

I take this opportunity to salute you with my distinguished 



Subsecretary of State of 
Foreign Relations. 

- 592 - 









Lima, June 28, 1944 

NO. 711 

Subjects Bringing Refugee Children from Europe into Peru 

The Honorable 

The Secretary of State, 

Washington, De C. 


I have the honor to refer to the Departments confidential 
circular airgram of April 15, 7 pem., directing me to approach the 
Peruvian government with the view to inquiring as to the acceptance 
of refugee children below the age of sixteen without regard to 
religion, nationality or stateless status, and to my telegram no. 866. 

I have the honor to enclose herewith the translated text of the 
note of the Foreign Minister expressing willingness to receive up to 
fifty children, under certain specified conditions. 

In my telegram no. 541, dated April 24, I advised the Department 
of the reaction of Doctor Solf y Muro, which was to the effect that 
in the’ absence of adequate organizations for taking care of children 
he would have to depend upon the different foreign colonies. The 
text of the note leads to the supposition that the Belgian and French 
colonies have expressed willingness to assist in this matter* 

Respectfully yours, 



- 593 - 




/Enclosure No. 1 to 
Dispatch NO. 711 
dated June 28, 1944*^ 


Lima, June 20, 1944 


In reply to your esteemed note no. 29, of April 25, I have the 
honor to Inform Tour Excellency that the Peruvian government, belig 
desirous of cooperating in the humanitarian work in which the United 
States is interested, notwithstanding the fact that there do not exist 
in this country special organisations that are suitable for (the care 
of) children nor official establishments of sufficient extent to take 
care of other than local needs, is disposed to receive up to fifty 
European refugee children; provided that these should be of French or 
Belgian nationality and that they should be brought to the port of 
Callao, since the absence of suitable transportation does not permit 
it to assume obligations such as might arise by taking charge of 
children in Swltserland. 

I avail myself of this occasion to repeat to you the assurances 
of my highest and distinguished consideration. 



His Excellency 
John Campbell White, 
Ambassador of the U. S. A., 

- 594 - 





Vo. 4743 


9CBAS3I 07 TH1 


Montevideo, Uruguay 
August 29, 1944 

Subject: Uruguay agrees to Adult 500 Refugee Children froa Surope* 

The Honorable, 

The Secretary of State* 


In conflraatlon of the fcbassy's telegram no. 617 of August 39* 

11 a.m., 1944, I hare the honor to transmit herewith a copy of the 
note of the Minister for foreign Affairs, in which he states that 
authorization will be granted for the Issuance of Tlsae to 500 refugee 
children from Europe, in accordance with the conditions set forth In 
this Embassy's memorandum of May 4, 1944, (copy enclosed), which was 
based on the Department's circular airgram of April 15, 7 p.m. 1944. 

Respectfully yours, 
7or the Ambassador: 


idward J• 
I Secretary 


1. Note from Minister for foreign Affairs 
August 28, 1944* 

2. Vmbassy's note to foreign Office dated 
May 4, 1944. 

of Embassy 


- 595 - 






i®nolo»ure *o. 1 to Dispatch _ 
»o. 4748 dated August 39, 1944 jJ 

Ministry for foreign Affairs 

Montevideo, August 38, 1944 

Mlstsr Ambassador; 

With referenoe to the confidential "Menorendu*' of the fabassy 
of the United States of America dated May 4 of the present year 
eonoernlng the authorisation to he granted to the consular authori¬ 
ties In Svitierland to visa documents of minors for the purpose of 
permitting them to enter this country until such time as a refuge 
could he arranged for then, 1 heg to inform Tour Excellency that 
following consultation with the content private institutions, ths 
figure of 500 children has been arrived at as that of the receptive 
capacity of the country* 

Consequently* visas will be granted for this number under the 
conditions set forth in the above mentioned "Memorandum"• 

Please accept again. Tour Excellency, the assurance of my 
highest consideration* 



To his Excellency 

William Dawson, Ambassador Extraordinary and 
Plenipotentiary of the United States of America. 

- 596 - 

j^Dn closure no* 2 to Dispatch no* 4743 
dated August 29, 194& 



The Department of State has authorized, to consular officers of 
the United States in Switzerland to issue up to 4,000 immigration 
visa* to refugee children up to sixteen years of age, under except¬ 
ionally liberal conditions* The purpose of this authorization is to 
facilitate the escape to Switzerland of orphaned or abandoned children 
by giving as entrances to the Swiss Government that these children will 
not remain in Switzerland after the termination of hostilities in 
lorope* The authorization contains provisions for the continued re¬ 
newal of the visas until such time as adequate transportation facili¬ 
ties to the United States become available* 

If there are private agencies in Uruguay willing and able to under¬ 
take a program for the care of refugee children, the War Refugee Board 
is confident that it can make arrangements to provide those agencies with 
adequate funds for the maintenance, education and welfare of as many 
children as the Government of Uruguay will be willing to admit* Should 
it prove necessary, funds would undoubtedly be available to meet trans¬ 
portation expenses from Switzerland to Uruguay. It is conservatively 
estimated that there are in France alone eight to ten thousand abandoned 
or orphaned refugee children. 

If the Uruguayan Government should be willing to take similar 
action it is requested that it give assurances to the Swiss Government, 
through its diplomatic mission in Bern, that it will accept up to a 
fixed number of refugee children in a manner similar to that of the 
Government of the United States. It is further requested that the 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs authorize its Chief of Mission in Bern 
to issue the appropriate number of Immigration visas and to maintain 
their validity until suitable transportation facilities from Switzer¬ 
land to Uruguay become available. The special representative of the 
War Refugee Board attached to the American Legation in Bern will be 
glad to cooperate with the Uruguayan diplomatic and consular officers 
in this as well as in all other refugee matters. 

Montevideo, May 4, 1944 

- 597 - 






The American Minister, Bern 

The Secretary of State, Washington 

April 11, 1944 



With reference to the request of the Inter-Governmental Committee 
for Refugees for children which section one of my number 1825 dated 
March 24 mentioned, the Political Department advised me that unfortun¬ 
ately they have Just been Informed that Laval's decision was negative 
in spite of the efforts of Minister Stucki. They were not able to give 
me any reasons for such refusal because no explanation was given* 

The Inter-Governmental Committee will be advised by the Political 
Department and the Governments of Britain and the United States will 
be informed by the Inter-Governmental Committee. The Political Depart¬ 
ment in doing so will recommend that steps taken to reply, in the very 
interest of the continuation of the contributions of Switzerland in 
trying to alleviate the sufferings engendered by war, shall be strictly 
preserved from any publicity both in Bhgland and in America. 





FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 
TO: American Legation, Bern 

DATED: June 13, 1944 


Following is for McClelland. 

Reference last paragraph your 3107, May 16. 

Board feels that the issuance of visas to children who entered 
Switzerland prior to January 1, 1944, would not accomplish the 
purpose for which visas were made available since principal moti¬ 
vating force behind the authorization to issue these visas was the 
encouragement such authorization might give to the Swiss Government 
to permit acceleration of the entry of additional children. While 
revising the January 1 date backward might assure the Swiss that 
some refugee children now in Switzerland would not remain there 
after the war, it would not focus the attention of the Swiss to 
the relationship between the availability of American visas and the 
admission of additional children. 

For your information, action paralleling that taken in this 
matter by the United States is being contemnlated by a number of 
the governments in Latin America. Board hopes in the near future 
to furnish you with the details of offers from those governments 
to the Swiss which, it is believed, may provide for children who 
entered Switzerland prior to January 1. 

If, after consultation with the Minister and appropriate Swiss 
authorities, it appears with some clarity that the movement of 
children into Switzerland would be accelerated by issuance of visas 
to children who entered prior to January 1, please so inform the 

Reference Legation*s 2810, May 3. Please report if Minister 
Bonna has received any additional information from Stuckl at Vichy 
regarding his efforts there. 

This is WRB cable to Bern no. 39. 


- 599 - 




Distribution of true 
reading only by special 


DATED: December 7, 1944 
RSC'D: 12:55 p.m. 

arrangement. (Secret W) 

Secretary of State 


U. S. Urgent 

7997, December 7, 4 p.m. 

Tor WKB from McClelland. 

Legation^ 7464, November 10. 

I am happy to be able to report that approximately 1,356 
persons balance of the Hungarian Jews in Camp Bergenbelsen arrived 
in Switzerland during night of December 6 to 7 having crossed 
frontier at St. Margarethen. They are at present temporarily 
housed near St. Gall under control of Swiss Army. 


- 600 - 










otficf OP TW6 

January 16, 1945 

Dear Governor Lehmans 

Baference Is made to my letter of January 12, 1945, advising you 
that approximately 1,352 Jewish refugees from Bergen Belsen may have 
to he moved from Switzerland to Philippevllle pursuant to the agreement 
of AFHQ, and UNHHA, referred to in MAT 435, to hold the Philippevllle 
Camp in reserve for emergencies that may arise as a result of the 
arrival of large numbers of refugees in Switzerland. 

The following cable has Just been received by the War Befugee 
Board from Boswell D. McClelland, its representative in Bern: 

"Reference is made to Department 1 s cable no. 49 of 
January 3, WEB 34. 

"The substance of this cable was communicated to the 
Swiss authorities. Appreciation was expressed by the Swiss 
for the Board's prompt efforts to organize the evacuation 
of the Bergen Belsen group from Switzerland. The hope was 
expressed by them that, pending a reply from London regard¬ 
ing permission for the majority of these refugees to enter 
Palestine, arrangements could be initiated for the movement 
of this group to Prance, inasmuch as they will have to 
proceed there in any case, regardless whether Palestine or 
North Africa is their destination. If necessary, the Swiss 
Federal Railways are prepared to furnish trains for trans¬ 
portation to the French port of embarkation. 

"The federal police desire to correct an ommlsslon in 
their recent communication with regard to the number of the 
refugees comprising the group. They now desire to include 
the first Hungarian Bergen Belsen convoy comprising approxi¬ 
mately 320 persons. In this connection see Legation's 
cable no. 55i7 of August 23. If this group is included, 
the total would be 1,672 instead of 1,352." 

In view of the fact that it will probably take some time before 
it can be determined whether the members of this group of 1,672 
refugees referred to in McClelland's cable will be admitted to 
Palestine, it has been decided to take advantage of UNRRA's offer 
to hold open Phillippeville for emergencies that may arise. Accord- 
ingly, pending a final decision regarding the ultimate destination 
of these refugees, it has been decided to move them to Philippevllle. 

- 601 - 

Tha War Department hae been adviced of the foregoing and has been re¬ 
quested to arrange for the necessary transportation. 

It will, therefore* be appreciated if appropriate instructions 
were sent by TJHHBA for the reception of this group at Philippeville. 

In view of the necessity that this group of refugees be evacuated 
from Switzerland as soon as possible* I would appreciate being advised 
of the action taken in this matter. 

Very truly yours* 



J. W. Pehle 
Executive Director 

Honorable Herbert H. Lehman* 

Director General, 

United Nations Belief & Rehabilitation Administration* 
Washington* D. C. 

- 602 - 





1344 Connecticut Avenue 
Washington 25, D. G. 

30 January 1945 

Mr. J. V. Pehle 
Executive Director 
War Refugee Board 
Washington 25, D. C. 

Dear Mr. Pehlex 

Reference is made to your letter of January 16th requesting admittance 
to UNRRA's Refugee Camp at Philippeville, Algeria, of 1.672 refugees, 
mostly Hungarian Jews from Bergen Belsen. 

We have sent the following cable to the Chief of the UNERA Mission in 

"Advised by War Refugee Board that Swiss authorities request 
immediate evacuation from Swiss territory approximately one 
thousand six hundred and seventy-two refugees, mostly Hungarian, 
recently arrived in Switserland via Germany. Pending reply 
from Foreign Office regarding permission for majority to enter 
Palestine War Refugee Board urges refugees be sent to Philippe- 
vitla, has advised War Department, and requested it to furnish 
necessary transportation. 

"Also, fifty to seventy-five refugees, holding ad hoc Latin 
American passports which do not authorize holders to enter 
countries in Western Hemisphere, will arrive in Marseille 
from Switzerland circa January twenty-seventh. War Refugee 
Board has advised War Department and requested transportation 
to Philippeville. War Department has advised SHAEF and SACMED 
to provide transport to Philippeville or alternate camp to be 
determined in consultation with UNRRA representatives in the 

"We are asking London to check with SHAEF on screening, compo¬ 
sition, arrangements for transportation, health and welfare 
provisions enroute, approximate dates of arrival, and to advise 

"Advise soonest whether facilities, personnel, food, etc. are 
adequate to accommodate these additional refugees. If not, 
can you arrange locally on an emergency basis| if so, over 





- 603 - 

what period? See our 38 re supplies we now programing for 
Philipoeville* Bo you recommend Italian camp in preference 
to PhiiippeTille? - 

We shall he glad to inform you of whatever further action there may 
be in this matter# 

Sincerely yours, 


Herbert H. Lehman 
Director General 

- 604 - 



U.S. Urgent 
913, Ninth 

Secretary of State 



DATED: February 9, 1946 
RJC'D: 11:51 a.m. 

Por Department and WEB from McClelland. 

With regard Muey affair following ie translation of article 
which appeared number of Swiss morning papers Pebruary 8* "Mr. 

Musy arranges liberation of Jewish Internees in Germany first 
convoy 1,200 civilians coming from concentration camp Theresien- 
stadt arrived Wednesday 11:45 a.m* at Ereuzlingen. It is thanks 
to efforts former Pederal Councillor Musy acting on request of 
European executive Council of Union Orthodox Babble of United 
States at Montreux and of world organization of Agudas Israel 
that these civilians were liberated by Germany. Other transports 
will follow which will all be sent from Switzerland abroad as soon 
as transportation possibilities exist. (This release was sub¬ 
mitted to press by Sternbuch and Musy.) 

Official communique Pederal Department Justice and Police com¬ 
municates with respect this question 'Transport arrived morning 
Pebruary 7 from Constance and was sent to St. Gall. It is composed 
of 1,210 persons Including 58 children under 12 years. Health 
these refugees seems generally good. There are only few slightly 
ill persons among them. They will all be housed temporarily at 
St. Gall for medical Inspection and disinfection. They will then 
be placed in quarantine camps in other parts of country'• Steiger President of Confederation supplies press with 
following details 'Tuesday afternoon Mr. Musy former Pederal Council¬ 
lor visited President of Confederation and informed him he had per¬ 
sonally obtained from M. Himmler liberation of these civilians. It 
is not excluded that liberation of other contingents may be obtained 
by Switzerland and that transports can take place from week to week. 

Mr. Musy acted privately at request of Jewish organizations so 
that no Swiss authority would be involved in eventuality these re¬ 
presentations had failed. Swiss authorities only knew Musy was 
attempting secure liberation of two Vaudois named Graf and a woman 
also from Canton Vaud named Mayor whose case was particularly grave 
of seven other persons who were also included this transport. Among 
the refugees are 5 to 600 Dutch Jews and others of various nationali¬ 
ties. Preparations for reception this convoy had to be made in 
great haste but all went off well. 

605 - 

There ie expected tonight at Kreuzllngen another transport 
of 540 Trench people coming from Germany and whose liberation and 
repatriation were also made possible by Huey's negotiations. 

Tresident of Confederation emphaelsed In conclusion importance 
of humanitarian work aleo accomplished in this field by Switzerland' ", 

Bill WEB 





DATED| August 20, 1945 
REC»D: 10:52 p.m. 

Secretary of State, 


3939, Twentieth 


Transport of 706 persons, holders of Palestine entry certifi¬ 
cates, departed from Brig, Switzerland, at 8 a.m. August 20 by 
special Swiss train. Planned route is via Domodossola and Novara, 
Italy, where they will be taken over by Allied railroad facilities 
for onward movement to Taranto, to arrive there about August 28. 

The 706 persons included 34 from Theresienstadt and balance from 
Bergen Belsen. They comprised 232 Hungarians, 160 Rumanians, 157 
Czechs, 45 Poles, 11 Dutch, and 101 stateless. 152 of total number 
were members of the Youth Alijah up to age 16 and 147 were Chalutzim 
(agricultural trainees) between 16 and 20 years old. In addition 
there were 30 young children accompanied by their parents. 

All persons were in possession of national passports of Swiss 
Government documentation and were security checked in Bern prior 
to departure. Swiss authorities provided generous rations to cover 
requirements until AFHQ, takes over transport in Italy. Entrainment 
proceeded smoothly and Swiss authorities cooperated to fullest 


- 607 - 








Secretary of State, Washington 
American Legation, Bern 
February 28, 1945 


In connection with the message which follows we refer to the 
proposal that Banque Populaire Suisse buy small amounts of United 
States currency brought by genuine refugees into Switzerland. 

The Legation of Switzerland in Washington, the Treasury reports, 
is insisting on an early decision claiming that due to pressure from 
groups of influence who are interested in refugee matters in Switz¬ 
erland, the failure to buy such currency is causing embarrassment to 
the Swiss, The Legation of Switzerland indicates that this problem 
came up as a result of the decision of the Swiss Bankers Association 
to prohibit dealings in dollar currency of the United States. 

The War Refugee Board, this Department and the Treasury Depart¬ 
ment, in riew of the humanitarian considerations involved, are in 
agreement that you should inform the Swiss that the Treasury is prepared, 
until further notice, to countenance the buying of United States dollar 
currency by Banque Populaire Suisse on the terms given below. 

(one) In an amount not to exceed $100 for each person each month 
after the adoption of this plan, the Banque Populaire Suisse may buy 
from genuine refugees from the Axis countries in Switzerland, dollar 
currency of the United States. 

(two) These purchases should be confined to such dollar currency 
as was surrendered, upon entry into Switzerland, to Customs Officials 
there and which, under control of the Swiss Federal Department of 
Justice and Police, has been deposited with BPS; and it is suggested 
that arrangements be made to indicate the amounts of money surrendered 
and the amounts purchased subsequently by BPS, on the passports or on 
other identity papers of those refugees who surrendered United States 

(three) It is believed to be desirable, in order to avoid the 
possibility that people fleeing from the United Nations may derive 
benefit from this proposal that you be furnished with such data re¬ 
garding each refugee as you consider necessary (prior to purchase 
by BPS) so that you may give consideration to each case and indicate 
your decision to the Swiss. You need consider only the first monthly 
purchase. Please let us have your comments if such screening by you 

- 608 - 

will involve an unreasonable quantity of work for the advantages 
secured. In any event, we feel that refugees who after January 1, 

1945, enter Switzerland should be screened by you in a careful manner. 

In this connection the Treasury would like to be Informed as to the 
facts In any instance in which United States currency in denominations 
of $500 or more, or a total of $1,000 or more in any denominations is 
surrendered by refugees as well as any case in which, you inform BPS 
that it should not buy currency from a certain refugee. Included in 
such information should be a description of such large bills, especially 
the series year and the serial number, but not by way of limitation. 
Should a refugee, in any particular instance, have sufficient other 
available means, in your opinion, and if the refusal of BPS to buy 
dollar currency would not inflict hardship, your approval should be 

The Swiss may be Informed by you that any currency which under 
these arrangements is purchased by BPS may be turned over to the 
Swiss National Bank and that, at the risk of the Swiss, you will 
forward it by pouch to the United States for deposit with the Federal 
Beserve Bank of New Tork to the Swiss National Bank's credit. As soon 
as normal facilities for shipments of currency are available the use of 
the pouch should be discontinued. 

The above program has been discussed with the British who are not 
willing to enter into a similar arrangement with regard to sterling 
notes; however, they have indicated that they can justify their position 
to the Swiss even though the above plan is adopted by us in view of the 
different policies followed in the past in regard to currency. It should 
be emphasized in discussions with the Swiss that purely on hnminatarian 
grounds the present action is being taken and that in no other light 
should it be considered. 

Some of the refugees who have entered Switzerland or who may 
enter Switzerland may be fleeing from the United Nations rather than 
the Axis, it is recognized. This matter is of concern to the Treasury 
not only as it applies to the buying of dollar currency by BPS but 
also as it applies to the overall problem of preventing people who 

flee the United Nations from securing any benefits through the 
United States or from this country. * public ruling to the effect 
that nationals of enemy nations (as contrasted with nations occupied 
by the enemy) who leave such countries or who have left such countries 
after some specified time are still deemed to be enemy nationals and 
will not be entitled to the privileges, amongst other things, of 
General License 53 and General License 32, is under consideration by 
the Treasury. Receipt of your views with regard to this problem 
along with your suggestion as to a suitable cut-off date would be 
appreciated by the Treasury. 

- 609 - 

In order that London nay advise the British of the action taken, 
this message is being repeated to London. In view of the fact that 
this natter has been discussed in London already, the Embassy is being 
asked to inform the Department if it is not in agreement with the 
procedure herein described and to repeat its comments to Bern so that 
if necessary, action may be withheld. 




The foregoing message as Department’s 1542, has been repeated 
to London with an introduction as follows: 

In view of the urgency of the matter discussed in the 
following message, it has been sent to Bern. Careful con¬ 
sideration has been given to the British comments set forth 
in your message of January 23, No. 814, and we have decided 
to proceed as outlined in the message to Bern in view of the 
special circumstances* From your message No. 813, we assume 
that no further objections will be interposed by the British. 
However, if the Embassy feels for any reason that this pro¬ 
cedure is objectionable in any way or that it requires fur¬ 
ther discussion, please request Bern to withhold action until 
any points at issue have been resolved and please cable 
comments as promptly as possible. It would seem desirable to 
cable Bern that the Sinbassy is in agreement, if that is the 



- 610 - 


LFG February 23, 1945 

Distribution of true Midnight 

reading only by special 
arrangement, (Secret V) 




The cable below to Harrison and McClelland from Department 
and War Refugee Board is WBB 416. 

The following is text of memorandum of Executive Director of 
War Refugee Board which was unanimously approved at Board meeting 
February 20th: 

QJJOTS Memorandum to: Secretary Stettinius 

Secretary Morgenthau 
Secretary Stimson 

Our best information indicates that, while the enemy has aban¬ 
doned wholesale extermination of detainees, large numbers of the 
physically unfit are now in imminent danger of death due to starva¬ 
tion, exposure and deliberate neglect. The actual numbers are un¬ 
known and are believed to be changing dally* 

Food, medicines and clothing must be distributed to such de¬ 
tainees at once if their lives are to be saved* They should be 
removed, if possible, to safety in Switzerland without unnecessary 

The International Red Cross is our only means of direct contact 
with the camps. Operations can best be conducted from Switeerland. 

The War Refugee Board is requested to authorize its representa¬ 
tive to obtain the necessary cooperation of the International Red 
Cross and the Swiss Government* 

The War Refugee Board is further requested to approve that the 
necessary food, medicines and transportation equipment be made 
available to the International Red Cross by the Swiss Government 
against our promise of repayment or replenishment after the war* 

It is understood that private funds are available for the necessary 


Executive Director 

- 611 - 

APPROVED: (Signed) 


Acting Secretary of State 



Secretary of the Treasury 



Secretary of War. UNQDOTI 

You will note that the program approved envisages (l) furnish¬ 
ing food and other relief through the International Red Cross to 
physically unfit unassimHated detainees who are within enemy-con- 
trolled territory, and ( 2 ) their removal by the International Red 
Cross to safety in Switzerland as soon as possible. 

The Executive Director of the Board plans to go to Switzerland 
in the near future in connection with the foregoing program. In the 
meantime, you are requested to do the following immediately: 

1* Rrplore the availability in Switzerland of food and 
other relief supplies as well as transportation equip¬ 
ment. Please advise the Board and Department at once 
whether relief trucks are permitted to move from Switz¬ 
erland to German-controlled areas and return to Switz¬ 
erland for reloading of supplies; 

2. Approach Intercross with a view to obtaining their 
consent to deliver the relief supplies in enemy territory 
and to organize and effectuate the removal of detainees 
to Switzerland. 

3. If Currie mission concurs please approach the Swiss 
Government for the purpose of obtaining its consent (a) 

to make available to Intercross now the necessary supplies 
and eouipment for the foregoing relief and evacuation 
program and (b) to admit all detainees who reach Swiss 
borders and house and maintain them under guard until we 
are able to arrange for their evacuation to Allied ter¬ 
ritory. You may assure the Swiss that this Government 
will arrange for the replenishment from the outside of 
all supplies made available by the Swiss for this purpose 
and compensation for use of equipment. Please report 
all developments to Department and Board. 


- 612 - 




FROM: American Legation, Bern 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: March 8, 1945 

NUMBER: 1481 


The following message from McClelland for WRB and the Department 
is transmitted. 

Please refer to cable from the Department dated February 23, No. 

819 and cable from the Legation dated March 2 No. 1345. 

It was revealed by a conversation on March 6 with Burckhardt of 
ICRC that Himmler has now made kncJwn his willingness to meet on March 
10, 11 or 12 with Burckhardt. Therefore, accompanied by Bachmann, his 
personal secretary, Burckhardt will definitely leave on March 8th or 
9th for Germany. These conversations will be With the SS exclusively, 
chiefly Kaltenbrunner and Himmler himself. Statement was made by the 
intermediary who extended the SS invitation that he had been directed 
to inform Burckhardt that Hitler himself might be present at a part of 
the discussions, the Fuhrer's health permitting. 

The foregoing paragraph is for the strictly confidential informa¬ 
tion of WRB and the Department. 

It is the plan of Burckhardt to raise the entire question of relief 
to all categories of Schutzhaeftlinge and to prisoners of war, regard¬ 
less of their religion, race or nationality. Especially there was brought 
up the release and removal of physically unfit people. 

On March 3 ICRC was officially informed by the Government of Ger¬ 
many that that Government now agreed to the exit from Germany of elderly 
people, women and children, of Nordic extraction or nationalities, and 
of French nationality, who were unsuited as laborers. It is not clear 
whether the Nazis include Jews among the people of French nationality 
A promise was made by me by Burckhardt that he will try to secure the 
release of Jews as well within any national group if the Germans desire 
to limit the evacuees to certain nationalities, for reasons which are 
not clear. 

Twenty-five trucks with fuel and prisoners of war parcels left 
Switzerland for Germany on the 7th of March according to the plan re¬ 
ported in our message No. 1345. Permission for the entry of as many 
trucks as ICRC wishes for prisoners of war relief has now been granted 

- 613 - 

by the Germans OKW. Whether this authorization includes trucks carry¬ 
ing relief to SchutzhaefHinge, is not clear. On this point Burckhardt 
will make an effort to obtain favorable decision. 

At the present time the number of trucks potentially available in 
Switzerland to ICRC are way inadequate to any extraordinary relief pro¬ 
gram for POWs, not to mention Schutzhaeftlinge, and also would be in¬ 
sufficient if the Nazis agreed to allow the removal of any considerable 
number of Schutzhaeftlinge from Germany. ICRC has, in all, 50 Canadian 
trucks, of only three tons capacity, and 48 United States trucks of 
from seven to eight tons capacity. 

I understand that SHARP has now agreed to furnish fuel, not for 
transport relief to unassimilated groups but only for transporting re¬ 
lief to prisoners of war; you might desire to take up with the War 
Department this matter. 

There is a possibility that we may be confronted suddenly with 
a major technical and transport problem if the Germans agree to release 
a large number of Schutzhaeftlinge (who might conceivably amount to 
several tens of thousands) following the negotiations of Burckhardt. 
Under present conditions it is most unlikely that the Swiss wi 11 be able 
6r willing to transport them to the Swiss border. 

At the present time I am working on the problem of transporting 
our 60,000 WRB parcels to unassimilated groups in Germany through the 
ICRC Division of Special Assistance and through private Swiss trucking 
concerns. If tires can be furnished from the outside, or at the very 
least, their replacement within a short and definite time limit can be 
guaranteed, there is a slight possibility of securing five to eight 
wood-burning trusks. An average of ten heavy duty tires and two spares 
per truck must be estimated. 

With reference to the entry of new and larger groups of refugees 
ICRC was assured by vonSteiger, President of Confederation that to the 
limit of it8 possibilities Switzerland, in principle, would admit such 


- 614 - 



Secretary of State, 

2175, April 13, 2 p.m. 


DATED: April 13, 1945 
REC'D: 6 p.m. 

Burkhardt of ICRC called special meeting afternoon of April 12 
concerning current possibilities evacuate "Schutzhaeftllnge H from 
German concentration camps. (From McClelland, Legation's 2130 April 
ll). Practically speaking after several weeks of ICRC negotiations 
with them Germans appear to be willing permit exit from Germany of 
only (only) civil detainees of French and Belgian nationality in ex¬ 
change for similar groups of German civilians now held by French and 
Belgians. Germans, however, do not insist that exchanges be on a 
head for head basis. These exchanges are to be limited as previous¬ 
ly reported to women, children and elderly people (over 65) of both 
sexes. Within these national groups Germans do not seem to be dis¬ 
criminating against Jews since convoy of 300 French women (there 
were no children although this was originally announced) included 
7 Jewish women. 

Kaltenbrunner of SS informed Dr. Meyer, ICRC delegate who ac¬ 
companied trucks which brought women from Ravensbrueck, that ICRC 
could evacuate all remaining French women from this camp as soon as 
Committee wanted. There seemed, however, to be only 300 more French 
women actually still in Ravensbrueck, whereas last fall (October) 
there were at least 3,000. Apart from those who have died (certain¬ 
ly 50j6) this leaves many hundreds unaccounted for who are probably 
in work companies detached from camp. There is no (repeat no) evi¬ 
dence although ICRC continues to negotiate for this that Germane 
will be willing allow evacuation of women who are being used as 
labor. In case not only of these French women but of civil detain¬ 
ees in general this probably constitutes majority still alive. 

According to sober reports from these French women who passed 
^rough here from Ravensbrueck Nazis are pursuing in that camp (and 
one has every reason to believe this is true of other similar groups 
of "Schutzhaeftlinge") a policy of simply working detainees to death. 
When they are no longer able to work this human material is literally 

In light of this information ICRC is now making special effort 
to obtain immediately a few buses from Swiss army to supplement lim¬ 
ited number of POW parcel trucks available for such evacuations. 

. ICRC is also examining possibility of using blocked POW parcel train 
now at Moosburg for similar purpose. Committee has hopes that out- 
sidf of French and Belgian detainees they may be able to get some of 
other nationalities on an n ad hoc” basis depending on attitude of 
individual camp commanders. 

Will keep you informed. 


- 615 - 



Secretary of State, 




DATED April 19, 1945 
RBC'D 9:30 p.m. 

2290, April 19, 7 p.m. 

for WBB from McClelland* 

Kasztner, Sternbuch, Huey and Swiss police all Informed me that 
small group of 69 Jewish refugees apparently mainly from Bratislava 
reached Konstanz yesterday and would he admitted to Switzerland today* 

It Is not clear due to whose efforts these people reached Switzerland 
although Musy Is already claiming credit* 

Sternbuch has undoubtedly reported this matter by wire to Vaad 

Kasztner arrived In Switzerland yesterday and according to report 
from Nathan Schwalb of Hechalus, after an extended trip with Kurt Bacher 
of SS which reportedly Included Thereselnstadt (April 10) and Bergen-Belsen 
(day or so before liberation). Kasztner apparently has considerable in¬ 
teresting information on Jewish survivors in Austria, Slovakia and There- 
slenstadt where he stated there ware 20,000 Jews including many new 
arrivals from Austria and Slovakia* According to Kasztner Becher "organized” 
capitulation of camp of Bergen-Belsen with all inmates remaining on spot* 
Kasztner further reports to be bearing Important proposals concerning 
possible rescue of Jewish deportees in camps still under German control* 

As soon as Kasztner is released from temporary Swiss custody, I 
shall secure all details possible and report to you* 


- 616 - 



TO: African Legation, Stockholm 

FROM* Secretary of State, Washington 
DATE: April 12, 1944 
NO.: 654 


The following is WRB No. 2 from War Refugee Board for the 

We refer to your telegram of February 13, 1944, No. 480. 

You stated, inter alia, with reference to the Swedish treatment 
of problems affecting refugees that the Swedish Government's refusal 
to approach the Government of Germany with an appeal that refugee 
children be allowed to come to Sweden was based on the belief that the 
Germans would refuse the request if it were made. The report of 
January 20 from London expressing the opinion that it seems to be 
worth while to encourage the Government of Sweden to make an approach 
to German authorities and request that up to 20,000 refugee children 
of all nationalities be released has been noted by us. 

When concern was expressed by the Swedish Government that the 
possibility of refugees escaping unnoticed might be jeopardized by an 
approach to the German Government on this matter, mass evacuation of 
Danes was in progress, which evacuation has now been finished. Since 
the conditions outlined in your telegram of May 19 , 1943 , No. 1610 
will by met by arrangements which the War Refugee Board will undertake 
to make with reference to the suggestion, such alarm should now be 
obviated. We request you to approach the Government of Sweden on the 
basis outlined above. 

It is requested that all developments in this matter be brought 
to the attention of the Department. 


- 617 - 



FROM: The American Legation, Stockholm 

TOi The Secretary of State, Washington 

DATE: April IS, 1944 

NUMBER: 1342 



An appeal to the Government of Germany to permit refugee 
children to proceed to Sweden has repeatedly been made by the 
GoTemment of Sweden during the past year according to Soderblom 
(War Refugee Board's number 2, number 654 dated April 12 from the 
Department). It appeared for a while that arrangements would be 
successful for the evacuation of large numbers of Belgian and 
French refugee children but the Government of Germany at the last 
moment on the ground that transport facilities for the evacuation 
of the children could not be spared, stopped the proceedings. It 
was added by Soderblom that the Government of Sweden Is constantly 
following the matter and as soon as there seems to be a sporting 
chance that the Germans might consent the question will again be 
pressed. Since military requirements are now so overburdening 
transportation facilities that it is actually almost an impossi¬ 
bility for a civilian to get permission to travel, it is Soderblom's 
opinion that there Is no chance whatever that the Germans would 
consent to make them (transportation facilities) available. It was 
Soderblom's desire that the fact be emphasised that the Government 
of Sweden is not overlooking any opportunity, that it has appealed 
and will continue to appeal to the Government to allow travel to 
Sweden of refugee children. 


- 613 - 



FROM: The American Legation, Stockholm 

TOi The Secretary of State, Washington 

DATE: March 16, 1944 

NUMBER: 908 


This morning a member of the Legation staff received a visit 
from a Finnish lady who was interested in the welfare of one hundred 
and thirteen Jewish refugees who in 1938 and 1939 had come to Finland 
from central Europe* It was claimed by the informant that permission 
for these refugees to enter Sweden had been refused by the Swedish 
Foreign Ministry and in view of the establishment of the War Refugee 
Board she requested my aid in urging the Government of Sweden to admit 
these people at once so that they would be saved from what she fears 
wi'Jjl be domination of Finnish pro-Nazi elements when the Finns make a 
final decision to continue the war against the U.S.S.R. 

This refers to Departments number 131 dated midnight January 
25 and to Legation’s number 481 dated 6:00 p.m., February 13, 1944. 

I mentioned the Lady’s visit to Boheman this afternoon and also 
told him what she talked about* Boheman was fully informed about it 
.lid that the Government of Finland had made application for the 
admission of these Jewish refugees. The Swedish Cabinet has considered 
this application twice and has made an adverse decision* The Govern¬ 
ment of Finland was advised that denying admittance to these refugees 
at present was not because they were Jews or because of any unwilling¬ 
ness on Sweden *8 part to admit refugees who were in need or in danger 
but that their being Jews and leaving Finland at this time the Govern¬ 
ment of Sweden believed would be very bad propaganda for Finland 
abroad especially since in fact no urgent necessity for their leaving 
Finland existed. Confidentially Boheman added that Sweden would admit 
them immediately if this group of refugees should in fact be placed in 
any danger in Finland due to the situation which my Finnish caller 


- 619 - 



FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO; American Legation, Stockholm 

DATED: April 25, 1944 

NUMBER: 749 



War Refugee Board sends the following for Johnson and Olsen. 

Reference is made to your telegram of April 11 , 1944 , No. 1235 . 

The Importance of Hellsted's statement concerning extent of 
danger from Gestapo in Fi n la n d to many Germans, Swedes and others 
is appreciated by the War Refugee Board. The Board is charged with 
rescuing "the victims of enemy oppression who are in imminent dan¬ 
ger of death" regardless of religion, nationality or stateless 
status. Accordingly, the Board would warmly welcome Swedish action 
to afford rescue to all groups in Finland which would be especially 
endangered as the result of increased German influence. 

Concerning Hellsted's remark that permission to refugees and 
others to enter Sweden would amount to discrediting Finnish Govern¬ 
ment, the Board suggests that you refer him to Boheman'e statement 
reported in your cable No. 908 to the effect that the Finnish Gov¬ 
ernment itself has applied for admission of Jewish refugees. 

n W1 ^ respect to the questions reported in your cable No. 1235, 
the Board holds that all persons referred to in our 724 of April 21 
are in danger. It is prepared to make arrangements for the evacua¬ 
tion from Sweden, as soon as practicable, of all persons, other than 
Swedes, who may be accorded refuge in Sweden, and for the mainten¬ 
ance in Sweden of such refugees who cannot claim the support of 
their governments. 

The Board appreciates the action taken by Sweden (reported in 
your telegram of April 21, 1944, No. 1379) in authorising one hun- 

« d !! 8 t0 Central &jr °P ean refugees now in Finland as a starter. 
The Board is deeply concerned about the danger threatening 113 Jew¬ 
ish refugees from Germany and Austria and about 2600 others referred 
to in our cable of April 21, No. 724. The Board fully supports your 
representations reported in your telegram of April 8 , 1944, No. 1209. 

v * n light of your cable No. 1379 referred to above, it is assumed 
by the Board that the Hellsted statement does not modify in any way 
the confidential assurances given by Boheman and reported in your 
cable No. 908. Please obtain confirmation of said assurances and. 

- 620 - 

should you consider that danger is imminent, please press for imme¬ 
diate action. 

Reference is made to Olsen 1 * no* 3. The Board is gratified by 
favorable Swedish reaction to his appointment and the statements made 
to the press are approved by the Board. 

The foregoing is lRB f s cable No. 4. 


- b^JL 



FROM: The American Minister, Stockholm 

TO: The Secretary of State, Washington 

DATE: April 21, 1944 

NUMBER: 1379 


According to He 11stedt Swedish visas have been authorized for 
one hundred Central European refugees now in Finland, as a starter 
—please refer to number 1235 dated April 11 from the Legation. It 
was stressed by He11stedt that visas are being granted for humani¬ 
tarian reasons since the refugees are panicky and not (repeat not) 
because the Government of Sweden believes there is any danger. 


- 622 - 



FRCMt Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: American Legation, Stockholm 

DATED: June 30, 1944 

NUMBER: 1301 


Reference is made herewith to your telegram of June 29, 1944, 

No. 2371. 

1. Approval is given to your proposed course of action and it is 
requested that you proceed expeditiously. 

2. Information has been received by the Department that Canadian, 
Belgian, British, and Italian Governments have accepted the repatria¬ 
tion of their nationals and have instructed the appropriate missions 
at Stockholm to communicate with the Government of Sweden. You are 
requested to correlate your action with them and urge them to take any 
necessary action to the extent that they have not done so already. 

3. The expenses in connection with the evacuation of any refugees 
included in the movement and in connection with their maintenance while 
in Sweden are guaranteed by the War Refugee Board. The Wap* Refugee 
Board also guarantees to arrange, when circumstances permit, for their 
onward transportation from Sweden (Departments telegram of April 25, 
1944, No. 749). 

4. It is hoped that arrangements can be made by the Government 
of Sweden to transport Swedish or other nationals on the return 
voyage of the vessel and to diminish proportionately any charges 
against this Government for the operation of the vessel if it is 
impossible actually to evacuate any Americans and associated nationals 
from Helsinki owing to force majeure. 


- 623 - 



^^“774 Stockholm 

Distribution of true DATED: September 29. 1944 

reeding only hgr special EEC 'D: 6:20 p.m. 

arrangement. (Secret W) 

Secretary of State, 


3955, September 29, 5 p.m. 

Every effort will be made to enter into any practicable 
arrangements that will mitigate circumstances described in WEB 86 
(Department's 1883, September 20, 6 p.m.). Following may assist 
Board in obtaining insight into problem as we have encountered it 
here. This is our 87 for WRB. 


Tremendous difficulties and hasards of taking any helpful 
action, in Lithuania perhaps are beet suggested by fact that in 
course of Olsen's rescue operations which hare brought less +-h»n 
150 Lithuanians hers, 4 boats and almost 250 liras were lost. 

These operations hare recently become so dangerous and appropriate 
communication with other side so erratic that it was decided to 
stop operations this week. Hot a single Jew has been rescued. 
Lithuanian refugees arriving here say Jews are to© terrified to 
more from present hideouts, either because they fear German trap, 
are afraid of almost certainty of being spotted by Gestapo and 
shot or are eery much afraid of undertaking the dangerous escape. 

A Lithuanian Catholic Priest, one of the refugees brou gh t, here 
through these rescue operations, states quite a large number of 
Jews were able to get into Lithuanian territory occupied by the 
Russians and are said to be treated extremely well. Many others, 
in some cases entire families, are being hidden by Lithuanian 
farmers. He states many Jews have been given false birth certifi¬ 
cates by Catholic Priests. According to him, there were only about 
500 Jews in Krotlngen on July 1 of this year and he does not believe 
there are any more than that now unless there has been heavy demand 
for conscript labor in that area. 

Operations in Estonia and Latvia were also stopped this week 
and the boats ordered to be delivered to Olsen here. Action was 
due in part to the military situation in that area as well as to 
the difficulties of controlling the types of people who were to be 
brought out. There are literally hundreds of thousands of people 
on the Baltic coastal areas, of all political followings, mV-W 
every panic stricken effort to escape. The last boat sent to 
Estonia was almost capsiied by scores of people swimming around in 
the sea trying to cl im b aboard. Somewhat over three hundred were 
rescued from Imtvim and approximately 250 from Estonia. Here again, 
however, it was not possible to bring out a single Jew. A full re¬ 
port of all these rescue operations will be forwarded in the near 

- 624 - 

All available channels will, as they have in the past, be used 
to forestall further massacres in East Prussia and Foland, although 
we are extremely pessimistic that much can be accomplished since the 
contacts we have had in the past are not able to exert any influence 
upon the severe military control presently being maintained by the 
Germans over such matters. Threats of reprisals are meaningless to 
this group and it may be assumed that should any proposals ultimate¬ 
ly be forthcoming through Kleist or other intermediaries for the 
Germans, such proposals will undoubtedly involve totally unacceptable 
military implications. We are pushing these negotiations as strongly 
as possible, nevertheless, simply to stall for time. 




- 625 - 

LC - 286 
Distribution of 
true reading by 
special arrangement 
(Secret W) 

Secretary of State, 


2652, July 17, midnight. 

This is our 54 for War Refugee Board. 

The following summarizes the pertinent features of report 
filed by Tranmael and Evensen in covering refugee activities in 

Of the $50,000 originally received (second $50,000 received 
last week) approximately 100,000 Swedish kronor were used to pur¬ 
chase 328,000 Norwegian kroner. This Norwegian currency was pur¬ 
chased locally from Norwegian refugees who had brought the currency 
to Sweden and it was stressed that there could be no possible bene¬ 
fit to enemy from these transactions. Of this Norwegian currency, 
approximately 50,000 kroner has been sent back to Norway through 
the underground for relief purposes including the support of fami¬ 
lies of persons in concentration camps. The balance of this cur¬ 
rency is still on hand. Group also has approximately 75,000 
Swedish kronor on hand from first transfer. 

It is reported that about 850 Norwegians escaped into Sweden 
during June despite a severe tightening of border patrols so that 
operations were difficult. During July Norwegian refugees are 
coming into Sweden at the rate of approximately 65 a day and the 
movement has been organized well to overcome recent obstacles. 
Almost 10,000 youths who failed to respond to the Nazi labor mobi¬ 
lization are hiding in the forests in the vicinity of Oslo. Funds 
supplied by American Relief for Norway are assisting in maintain¬ 
ing these groups. Other expenditures Include the purchase in 
Sweden of food clothing and shoes for severe hardship cases in 

Tranmael and Evensen appear to be extremely conscientious in 
handling the funds and carrying out the program involved. They 
have established an administration committee which includes Edward 
Stenklev of the Stockholm Secretariat of the Norwegian Labor Union 
and Irygve Nilsen, former chairman of the Oslo Labor Council. The 
accounts are kept by Hans Heeg, former chief cashier of the Nor¬ 
wegian Iron and Metal Union, and expenditures are audited by George 
Jacobsen and Karsten or Kildsen, former auditors of the Norwegian 
labor Union. 




DATED July 17, 1944 
REC’D 8:40 p.m. 


- 626 



LC - 390 
Distribution of 
true reading only by 


DATED: August 19, 1944 
REC'D: 9:28 a.m. 

special arrangement. (Secret W) 

Secretary of State, 


3199, August 19, 11 p.m. 

Second report of Evensen-Traninael group has been received 
covering activities for July. Principal features summarised be¬ 
low and full reports going forward by pouch. 

One. Group assisted in a variety of evacuation operations 
which brought approximately 1,000 Norwegians into Sweden during 
the month. 

Two. Organisations for maintaining 10,000 youths hiding in 
the Norwegian forests now well established, with good channels 
for food and clothing supplies, and plans are in readiness for 
their evacuation should it became necessary. 

Three, Food packages, clothing, shoes and other critical 
supplies are being sent in to families of prisoners, children and 
other groups in great need of assistance. In addition 125,000 
Norwegian kroner have been sent in to needy cases. 

Four. Second installment of $50,000 was received during July 
and balance on hand after July expenditures was 232,000 Swedish 
kronor end 161,000 Norwegian kroner. Third installment of $50,000 
was received in early part of August. 

In general, it is clear that these Norwegian operations are 
progressing very well and that much is being accomplished. 

Olsen is considering the possibility of transferring the ves¬ 
sels in Baltic operations over to Norwegian operations of a simi¬ 
lar nature at such time as it becomes impossible to continue activ¬ 
ities in the Baltic. Prospects of success could be extremely good. 
To date approximately 600 have been evacuated from the Baltic coun¬ 
tries through our facilities and a few hundred more through the 
assistance of our rescue organisations in those areas. It does 
not seem likely however that these operations can be carried out 
much longer in the light of the military situation in the Baltic 
at which time the question arises as to the further use of the 
vessels provided they are not lost in the meantime. Tour comments 
would be appreciated. This is our No. 75 for WRB. 


- 627 - 



KEM-324 Stockholm 

Distribution of true DATED: September 25, 1944 

reading only by special REC'D: 7:50 p.m. 

arrangement. (Secret W) 

Secretary of State, 


3364, September 25, 5 p.m. 

For WRB 

Following is third report of Evensen-Tranraael group covering 
rescue and relief operations in Norway during August, and is our 
No. 84. 

To balance on hand of 232,000 Swedish kronor at end of July 
was added approximately 210,000 kronor equivalent of $50,000 
additionally transferred from the United States during August. 
Approximately 100,000 kronor were expended for food and clothing 
supplies, which were sent to the Norwegian home front, relatives 
of prisoners, persons working for the refugee transport organiza¬ 
tion, and to the students hiding in the forests. As of September 
1 there was a balance on hand of 351,000 Swedish kronor. About 
125,000 Norwegian kroner were sent into Norway for a variety of 
relief and rescue purposes, and 115,000 Norwegian kroner are still 
on hand. 

Approximately 750 Norwegians escaped to Sweden during August, 
of which about 500 came through facilities financed by American 
labor relief. 


- 62S - 



LFG -956 Stockholm 

Distribution of true DATED: October 25, 1944 

reeding only by special REC*D: 2:20 a.m., 26th 

arrangement. (Secret W) 

Secretary of State, 


434S, October 25, 8 p.m. 

During September received final installment of initial 
amount of $200,000. (Following summarises Tranmael-Rvensen report 
on Norwegian operations for September. This is our No. 94 for War 
Refugee Board.) Expenditures during month were approximately 
2,000,000 Swedish kronor leaving on hand as of October 1 approxi- 
mately 380,000 Swedish kronor and 150,000 Norwegian kroner. About 
600 parcels were sent into Norway through regular license proce¬ 
dure. These included 4000 kg. of food, 560 kg. of clothing and 
200 pairs of shoes. Considerable other food and clothing was sent 
in through underground channels. Approval has now been obtained 
to send to Norway monthly an additional 400 packages. Approxi¬ 
mately 60,000 Norwegian kroner were sent in to needy families in 
various districts in Norway. 

Largely through equipment, supplies and funds provided by 
American labor relief, approximately 1000 Norwegians were brought 
to Sweden in September. Olsen is now exploring with them a pro¬ 
gram of evacuating refugees by sea routes. In general the Nor¬ 
wegian situationis now both tense and critical. 


- 629 - 





Secretary of State, 

DATED: November 11, 1944 
FEC’D: 2:32 p.m. 


4620, November 11, 3 p.m. 

This is our No. 104 for War Refugee Board. 

Tranmael-Evensen report for Norwegian operations during 
October contains the following features. An additional transfer 
of $50,000 was received during the month, to be added to the 
381,000 Swedish kronor already on hand on October 1st. 

During the month approximately 1000 packages were sent under 
license to Norway, including 7750 kg. of food, 700 kg. of clothing 
and 250 pairs of shoes. Through underground facilities an addi¬ 
tional 3500 kg. of clothing, shoes, food, and tobacco have been 
sent into Norway. 

Refugee transport facilities were supplied with necessary 
equipment, food, clothing, and Norwegian money, 45,000 Norwegian 
kroner being sent in during the month. Through the escape routes 
equipped and financed by American labor relief about 1260 Norwegian 
refugees were brought to Sweden in October. 

Suitable vessels have now been-acquired to expand sea escape 
routes and necessary arrangements with Swedish authorities con¬ 
cluded. German control of sea areas has been tightened consider¬ 
ably, however, and difficulties may be anticipated. 

As of November 1 about 415,000 Swedish kr. and 105,000 
Norwegian kr. were on hand. 


- 630 - 



TR-1320 Stockholm 

Distribution of true DATED: December IB, 1944 

reading only by special REC*D: 7:46 p#m. 

arrangement. (Secret W) 

Secretary of State 

5167, December IB, 5 p.w. (Section One of Two) 

114 for WRB 

S ummar y of Tranmael-Evensen report for the month of November 
on Norwegian operations follows: 

Expenditures for the month were approximately 292,000 Swedish 
kronor for clothing, footwear, food, licensing of packages and 
refugee transportation, and 133,000 Norwegian kroner. 559 licensed 
packages with about 6,625 kg. of food, 750 kg. of clothes and 250 
pairs of footwear were sent. Also 22,000 kg. of various foodstuffs 
and a number of other commodities were sent in a different way . 

The Norwegian kroner were sent for various purposes and to differ¬ 
ent districts in Norway. Necessary equipment of clothes, bed¬ 
clothes, food, money, et cetera, have been placed at disposal of 
crews on boats as previously. 

- 631 - 


FROM; American Legation, Stockholm 

TO; Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED; December 18, 1944 

HUMBER; 5167 (Section Two) 


Refugees numbering about 800 have arrived over the routes which 
the Committee maintains. Money has been placed at the disposal of 
refugee relief in the northern districts 3 ince the situation in the 
northern part of Horway has become so acute. 

Since the Committee has received no new contributions during 
November and all available funds have been contracted for, it is 
felt by the Committee that if it could be sure of a certain amount 
each month activities could be expanded since distress among families 
of prisoners, refugees and those forced to evacuate is on the increase. 
The Committee desires to have these views communicated to the Amer¬ 
ican Relief for Norway, Inc., and they forward at the same time their 
heartiest thanks for the confidence and great economic support which 
has so far been given. 

We are sending by pouch a full report regarding this. 


- 63.° - 




Distribution of true 
reading only by special 
arrangement. (Secret W) 

Secretary of State, 


463, February 7, 11 a.m. 

This is our No. 122 for War Refugee Board. 

Evensen and Tranmael report received covering Norwegian opera¬ 
tions for December. Approximately 325,000 kroner were expended 
during month. Through legitimate licensing channels 1,350 packages 
were sent into Norway containing 18,000 kg. of foodstuffs 3 2,700 kg. 
of clothing and 470 pairs of shoes. Through underground channels an 
additional 10,000 kg. of foodstuffs were sent into Norway and 300 
pairs of shoes. 

Rescue operations are continuing and in the first three weeks 
of December over 600 refugees were transported to Sweden through 
facilities financed in part by American labor relief. There are now 
six vessels engaged in evacuation by sea routes. 

The Norwegian labor group is now virtually without funds and 
Olsen has loaned them $50,000 of funds held by him for other purposes. 
This will presumaoly ue repaid by $50,000 scheduled to be transferred 
to them in February which will again leave them without funds. Since 
the group is presently engaged in operations which will require 
$50,000 monthly please advise urgently whether this program can be 
financed or whether it will be necessary to curtail operations. 



DATED February 7, 1945 
REC'D 11:42 a.m. 


- 633 - 




Distribution of true 
reading only by special 


DATED: February 28, 1945 
REC'D: 3:02 a.m., March let 

arrangement. (Secret W) 

Secretary of State, 


781, February 28, 10 p.m. 

This is our No. 127 for WRB. Tranmael-Evensen report for 
January operations in Norway indicates that approximately 160 
packages were sent through regular licensing channels during 
month, containing 22,000 kilograms of food, 2200 kilograms of 
clothing and 360 pairs of shoes. Through underground channels 
were delivered an additional 13,000 kilograms of food, 1,100 
pairs of shoes, considerable clothing and other articles. It is 
estimated that 1,100 refugees were brought to Sweden in January 
on the evacuation routes financed in part with funds of American 
labor relief* 

No funds remained at hand at the end of January and the 
local labor group reported themselves indebted to the extent of 
50,000 Swedish kronor and 34,000 Norwegian kroner. This latter 
problem has been raised with you separately. 



- 634 - 




Distribution of true 
reading only by special 


DATED: April 7, 1945 
REC'D: 2:45 p.m. 

arrangement. (Secret W) 

Secretary of State, 


129S, April 7, 2 p.m. 

Report has been received from Evensen and Tranmael covering 
their operations in Norway during February. Through regular 
licensing facilities 675 packages were sent into Norway contain¬ 
ing about 10,000 kg. foodstuffs, 2230 kg. of clothing and 350 
pairs of shoes. Approximately 28,000 kg. of foodstuffs were sent 
in through underground facilities, as well as a considerable amount 
of clothing, footwear and other material. This is our 133 for WRB. 
In addition the group sent in through the underground about 2 tons 
of clothing and other supplies for certain Swedish organizations. 
Approximately 1100 Norwegians were brought to safety in Sweden 
during February through tinder ground routes financed in part by 
American labor relief. 

Due to lack of funds operations were necessarily curtailed 
during this period. 


- 635 - 




Distribution of true 
reading only by special 


DATED: April 21, 1945 
REC'D: 4:45 p.*.. 

arrangement (Secret W) 

Secretary of State, 


1490, April 21, 5 p.m. 

This is our number 136 for War Refugee Board in reply to 
WRB 354 (Department's 694, April 18, 2 p.m.). 

Problem of finance has been discussed with local Norwegian 
labor group. They received last $50,000 installment from the 
United States in March and these funds will probably be insuffi¬ 
cient to carry them through April operations. Olsen premised to 
make available to group 75,000 kronor of $98,500 transferred to 
him from WRB confidential funds in Ankara. However, except for 
such additional funds as Olsen may make available from his special 
funds, local group will lack funds for May operations and still 
owe Olsen $50,000 previously loaned them. 

Tranmael and Evensen have supplied report covering March 
operations in Norway, translations of which are being forwarded 
try pouch. During March 1,135 parcels were sent into Norway through 
licensing channels, containing approximately 15,000 kilograms of 
food, 3,310 kilograms of clothing and 300 pairs of shoes. About 
9,000 kilograms of food and clothing were sent in through under¬ 
ground channels, as well as other supplies contributed by Swedish 
organisations. During March approximately 1,100 Norwegians were 
brought to Sweden through escape facilities financed in part by 
American labor relief. 






- m - 



Vail Ingetan, 21, I, 

Telephones 10 87 17 Stockholm, 25.5.45. 


Attache Mr. Iver Olaen, 
American legation. 
Strandvflgen 7 A, 
Stockholm . 

Re: American Relief for Norway. Chicago - 

American Labor Relief for Norway. Stockholm . 

Report for Aprils 1945 . 

In April no new contribution has been received. Of the most 
important expenditures, we mention: changing of Norwegian kroner: 
about 24,000.- Sw. kr., clothing: about 12,000.- Sw. kr., licensed 
packages: about 13,000.- Sw. kr., transportation expenses 36,000.- 
Sw. kr. In this month 137,000.- Norwegian kroner have been sent 
to Norway. 

In the course of the month 663 licensed packages have been 
sent, with in all 8,212 kg. foodstuffs, 1,9$9 kg. clothing and 
670 pairs of shoes. 

In other ways 2,331 kg. of foodstuffs have been sent, plus 
clothing, footwear and other commodities as shown in the enclosed 


Along the routes financed by the Committee, we are reported 
that 1,246 refugees have arrived. 


Lars Evensen 

Enclosure /Omitted - Edj7 





- 637 - 



Vallingatan 21, I 
Telephone: 10.87.17 

Stockholm, June 8, 1945 


Attache Mr. Iver Olsen, 
American Legation, 
StrandvAgen 7 A, 

Re: American Relief for Norway. Chicago - 

American labor Relief for Norway . Stockholm . 

SfEPFt fop May, 3,945- 

In May we have received Sw. kr. 80,000.- from the War Refugee 
Board. Of expenditures we mention particularly the purchase of 
clothing: kr. 6,700.-, foodstuffs: about kr. 5,000.-, packages: 
kr. 9,600.-, refugee transports well over kr. 14,000.-. The lat¬ 
ter item chiefly refers to the final liquidation of the transports 
which were in process at the time when the peace broke out. The 
refugee relief this month amounted to kr. 32,000.-, the most part 
having been used for extra relief to political prisoners who were 
repatriated via Sweden. 

In the course of the month we have sent 640 licensed packages, 
containing in all 7,520 kg. of foodstuffs, 410 kg. of clothing and 
125 pairs of shoes. 

In other ways we have sent 7,530 kg. of various foodstuffs, 
plus clothing and other commodities, which are referred to in the 
attached list. 



2 enclosures . /Omitted - Bd^7 

- 63* - 



Distribution of true 
reading only by special 
arrangement. (SECRET W) 

Secretary of State, 


1953, May 29, 6 p.m. 


In response to WRB 368 (Dept ! s 949, May 23, U a.m.) 

Haw discussed fully with local group representing American 
labor relief for Norway their Ideas as to future relief program. 
Local group is extremely anxious to continue Norwegian relief 
activities and are firmly convinced of necessity of continuing 
operations from Sweden in view of advantageous supply factor as 
well as prompt delivery facilities. They have advanced a five- 
point program covering relief and general assistance to the 
following groups of the more severely distressed category. 

(A) . Norwegians returning from concentration camps in 


(B) . Prisoners released from Grini. 

(C) . Prisoners released from other concentration camps 

in Norway. 

(D) . Special relief program for residents of Finmark. 

(E) . Support of widows and children of above groups of 


The group has advanced a minimum program which will require 
approximately 100,000 kronor monthly to finance. This will sup¬ 
ply approximately 30,000 KG. of essential foods monthly as well 
as medicines and clothing. All necessary arrangements have been 
made both as to procurement of supplies and as to shipment. 

Local group has been advised of contribution of $50,000 by 
War Refugee Board for relief operations in Norway (WRB 370, Dept* 
973, May 25, 5 p.m.) and it wishes to express its deepest 
appreciation for this generous support. 


DATED: May 29, 1945 
REC'D: 7:21 p.m. 





FRCMj American Legation, Stockholm 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: May 19, 1944 

NUMBER: 1772 


Following message for War Refugee Board is our No. IS. 

Last night a lengthy discussion was held by Olsen with Claes 
Westring, Swedish Consulate General in Oslo who is returning today to 
Oslo. He has been actively concerned with Swedish relief activities 
in Norway and the evacuation to Sweden of several Jews in concentra¬ 
tion camps in Norway have been personally arranged by him. He states 
that at the present time the lack of local funds in the right hands to 
carry out the operations is the main obstacle to effective relief 
activities within Norway as well as further evacuations to Sweden. As 
outstandingly distressed groups, he mentioned the families of those in 
Norwegian concentration camps, the families of Norwegians deported to 
Germany and the families of clergymen, members of the Supreme Court 
and intellectuals who are interned as a result of compromising them¬ 
selves politically. The families of many of these people are complete¬ 
ly without funds for living. 

In emphasizing to Westring the anxiety of the United States 
regarding this matter and the steps we are preparing to take. Westring 
said he was willing to act as intermediary in getting funds both for 
evacuation operations and for relief activities into the hands of 
appropriate Norwegians. Plans were worked out under which any funds 
obtained from America would be turned over to an appropriate person 
in the Swedish Foreign Office who would make available to Westring the 
Norwegian equivalent. Also plans were made whereby there would be 
channeled through another appropriate official in the Foreign Office 
communications to and from Westring. 

It is strongly urged that the War Refugee Board find support for 
this program to the amount of $10,000 per month as the foregoing seems 
to be an unusual opportunity for carrying on certain essential opera¬ 
tions through responsible and skillful channels. 


- 640 - 



Secretary of State. 



DATED: November 7, 1944 
REC'D: 2:20 p.m. 


4548, November 7, noon. 

Reply to your inquiry was deferred until moat recent informa¬ 
tion could be obtained from Swedish Consul General in Oslo, who has 
now been in Stockholm for a few days. This is our No. 102 for War 
Refugee Board in reply to WRB 220 (Departments 2128 of October 23, 

9 p.«.) 

To date 90,000 Swedish kronor have been deposited at Foreign 
Office for account of Consul General Westring, against which depos¬ 
it he uses equivalent in Norwegian kroner obtained as consular fees. 
Westring is working closely with Central Relief Committee of Luther¬ 
an Church in Oslo, and supplies this group the necessary funds to 
bring urgent relief to a carefully selected list of most needy cases. 
These cases in almost all Instances comprise families of men who 
have either been deported, imprisoned or shot by the Germans, and 
include perhaps a dozen severely stranded Jewish families. This 
type of relief is totally illegal in Norway, subject to punishment 
by imprisonment, and it is extremely Important that the whole mat¬ 
ter is kept strictly confidential, particularly as to Swedish coop¬ 
eration and assistance. Westring informs that this work is accom¬ 
plishing an enormous amount of good, that conditions in Norway for 
such families are becoming Increasingly difficult, that considerably 
more could be done along the same lines if funds were available. 

Have supplied 25,000 Swedish kronor to certain officials of 
the Norwegian Legation here responsible for home front activities. 
This was for the purpose of supplying necessary medicine, clothing 
and food to the home front groups as well as the Norwegian students 
hiding in the forests. This program also is moving forward and is 
connected with other operations concerning facilities established 
to rescue these student groups when and if necessary. 

Third program with which American Relief for Norway funds are 
being employed has been worked out with pastors of Norwegian Luther¬ 
an Church in dweden. Amount of 25,000 Swedish kronor has been made 
available to them to permit more or less penniless Norwegian refu¬ 
gees here to send food parcels back to relatives in Norway particu¬ 
larly for Christmas. Same group being supplied with 50,000 Norwe¬ 
gian kroner which they will send in by underground to needy cases 
in the more isolated Norwegian parishes. We believe this to be an 
excellent project. 

American Relief for Norway may be interested in knowing that 
one of its founders and former member of its board of directors, 
Sigurd Ameson, presently assistant Military Attache to this 

- 641 - 

Legation, has been consulted fully regarding the 
these funds and not only feels that a tremendous 
done but considers that the need is greater than 

disposition of 
good is being 
ever before. 


- 6 12 - 




Distribution of true 
reading only by special 


DATED j March 7, 1945 
REC'D: 8:26 p.m. 

arrangement. (SECRET W) 

Secretary of State, 


891, March 7, 7 p.m. 


One of Sweden's leading newspapers, DAGENS NYHETER, of March 
6, contains a fVont page interview with a Hungarian Jew who recent¬ 
ly escaped to Sweden. He pays tremendous tribute to Swedish relief 
and rescue activities for Hungarian Jews, particularly that of 
Raoul Wallenberg, and states "Budapest Jews were saved by the 
Swedes. n 

The article describes one instance in which an hour's urgent 
conference by Wallenberg with Szalasy personally caused the latter 
to reinstate the validity of Swedish protective passports. It men¬ 
tions that Wallenberg quartered 5000 Jews in so-called Swedish 
houses and one evening, when an armed patrol entered this area to 
remove some of the inhabitants to labor camps, Wallenberg met the 
patrol and, after advising it that it was trespassing on Swedish 
territory, informed the group that it could not trespass further 
without first shooting him, adding "none leaves this place as long 
as I live." Later the same evening Wallenberg was advised that 11 
persons with Swedish passports had been arrested by the Gestapo 
and had been loaded on a labor train destined for Vienna. It 
states that Wallenberg raced to the railway station but the train 
had departed. Wallenberg then chased the train until it stopped 
at station just short of the German border and he managed to re¬ 
move these 11 persons from the train. 

The article pays remarkable tribute to Wallenberg's courage 
and day and night effort to help the Jews, despite the fact that 
there was a constant object of personal attack and anonymous 
threats of bodily harm. The article will be forwarded in the 
next pouch. 


- 643. - 




DATED: April 19, 1945 
REC'i): 10:17 a.m. 

Secratary of State, 


1447, April 19, 1 p.n. 

For Departnent and WRB. 

Approximately 5,000 Danish and Norwegian Jews arrived in 
Halno yesterday from Germany and are being sent to an especially 
arranged Swedish internment camp. So far as is known this group 
comprises virtually all Danish and Norwegian Jews in German con¬ 
centration camps and their release is a consequence of certain 
special negotiations conducted by Count Bernadotte during the 
past several weeks. 

The Swedish Foreign Office is endeavoring to secure the 
release of Norwegian Jews in Grini, under the same guarantees of 
special internment in Sweden. 




DATED May 2, 1945 
REC f D 4:24 p.m. 

Secretary of State, 


1635, May 2, 4 p*m. 

Our 1476 of April 20, 6 p.m. made reference to 500 Danish-Jews 
instead of 5,000 as stated in Department's 774, April 27, 3 p.ra. 
Informed local sources indicated that 425 have actually arrived here 
to date and that this group comprises the living remainder of 
approximately 525 originally deported from Denmark, the balance 
having died in concentration camps. 


- 645 - 




BATEDt May 3, 1945 
HEC f Dt 9t42 p.m* 

Secretary of State, 


1669, May 3, 9 p.m. 

For Department and WRB. 

Supplementing our 1547, April 25, 8 p.m., we are informed that 
approximately 3,000 women have now arrived in Sweden from the concen¬ 
tration camp at Ravensbrueck, of which number about 1,200 are Jewesses. 
Ws are also informed that approximately 3,000 additional women from 
Ravensbrueck have reached Denmark and are expected in Sweden by this 
week end. 

Approximately fifty Norwegian Jews from a concentration camp in 
Norway arrived today* 



- 646 - 





Time: 6:40 p.m. 

January 3, 1944 



With reference assistance to refugees on Island of Rab your 7682 
November 4 following is quoted from letter received from Joint Chiefs 
of Staff dated December 15, 1943 quote* 

The Commanding General, North African Theater of Operations, has 
been consulted with regard to this matter and, pursuant to his 
recommendation, it has been determined that the military situation 
does not permit the military authorities to render any direct assis¬ 
tance to these refugees at this time. 

The Theater Commander has reported that supplies and facilities 
for displaced persons in Italy are already overstrained, and that 
demands for these items should, if possible, be reduced. Aside from 
the fact that operational needs do not permit the rendition of 
assistance to these refugees, it is considered that to take such 
action might create a precedent which would lead to other demands 
and an influx of additional refugees for the care of whom the militaiy 
authorities would be unable to provide facilities and supplies. Al¬ 
though recommending that no direct assistance or funds be provided, 
the Theater Commander states that he will continue, as in the past, 
to care for any refugees who should be able to reach Italy as a 
result of their own efforts. 

Our latest information is that the refugees on the Island of 
Rab, together with those at Otocac in Northwest Croatia, total ap¬ 
proximately 1,500, and that the majority of these refugees are Jews 

Since receipt of letter in reference Department has official 
information Germans now hold Rab. 

Please transmit such portions of the above communication as you 
may deem appropriate to the Directorate of the Intergovernmental 
Committee and if the present information of the Committee suggests 
means of aiding these refugees Department should be informed. 



- 647 - 








FEB. 1, 1944 

Re: Making Funds Available to Refugees on Island of Rab . 

I wish to preface my discussion "by saying that In December the 
Joint Chief8 of Staff were approached at the Instance of the Inter¬ 
governmental Committee on Refugees with a comprehensive project to 
rescue refugees from the Island of Rab. This plan would have necessi¬ 
tated direct assistance upon the part of the military authorities in¬ 
volving questions of transport, etc. On this basis the Commanding 
General in the North African Theater of Operations decided that the 
military situation did not permit the operation contemplated. However, 
since the proposal which I am about to make is entirely different and 
much simpler than that rejected by the Commanding General, and in view 
of our Government 1 s policy with respect to refugees announced at the 
time of the establishment of the War Refugee Board, I recommend the 
following for your urgent consideration. 

Information we have received indicates that there are presently 
some 1500 refugees, mostly Jewish, on the Island of Rab in the Adriatic 
off the Dalmation coast. They apparently were taken there some time 
ago by Yugoslav Partisans after being freed from internment. The Island 
has changed hands several times, but it is understood to be again in 
the possession of the Partisans. 

It is believed that many of such refugees might be able to hire 
boats to bring them to Italy if they had the necessary funds. Similar 
escapes apparently have been arranged by Yugoslav refugees now in Italy. 
Funds are available to the War Refugee Board, and probably also from 
private organizations for this purpose and, if possible, should be sent 
to these refugees as soon as possible. 

As a method of accomplishing the foregoing, I suggest the follow¬ 
ing possibility. If means of communication exist between our armed 
forces and the Yugoslav Partisan leaders, it is suggested that you or 
the Theater Commander transmit a message to the latter requesting - 

(a) that the Partisans furnish local currency to 
refugees on the Island of Rab so that the latter may by their 
own efforts ar-ange escape to Italy, it being understood that 
such expenditures will be reimbursed in United States dollars 
or in such other money as the Partisans reouest; 

(b) that the Partisans, in the event they cannot 
furnish necessary local currency, aid the refugees in arranging 
escape by guaranteeing to the boat owners and other persons 

- 643 - 

assisting in the escape that payment will be made to them by 
the American military authorities upon arrival of the refugees 
in Italy; 

(c) that the Partisans keep the appropriate American 

military authorities advised of their operations in this field. 

It will, of course, be necessary for the Theater Commander to 
make arrangements for payments in Italy in certain cases to persons 
bringing refugees there from the Island of Rab, and possibly for cer¬ 
tain other financial transactions. It is also essential that the 
Theater Commander continue his policy of caring for any refugees who 
may be able to reach Italy as the result of their own efforts. Such 
other assistance as he may be able to give will, naturally, be extreme¬ 
ly valuable. It may be made perfectly clear that the War Refugee Board 
assumes full financial responsibility for this operation and will reim¬ 
burse all outlays. 

If you think that the procedure indicated is feasible, I am sure 
that you will agree that it should be executed as promptly as possible 
in view of the uncertainty of the continued possession of the Island 
of Rab by the Partisans. 

This haa been cleared with Mr. Stettlnlue who la In agreement. 



(Carried by Secret Service Agent) 

- 649 - 








American Mission, Algiers 
Secretary of State, Washington 
May 3, 1944 


Prom Ackermann for attention of WBB. 

Ho. 17. 

In connection with the rescue of Hungarian refugees, MacVeagh in 
Cairo reports that information has been received from the British 
Embassy indicating that Marshal Tito has promised support. Tito 
will assist them to Join his forces or to be evacuated when possible. 

The help that Tito can furnish partly depends upon the assistance 
given him is my opinion. 


- 650 - 








American Embassy, London 
Secretary of State, Washington 
June 28, 1944 


yfe have just received from the Foreign Office a memorandum with 
respect to thB wish of the War Refugee Board and the Department to 
remove refugees escaped from enemy territory to southern Italy, as set 
forth in Department’s cable off June 3 , No. 4413. The memorandum goes 
into detail with respect to the points which Randall, head of the Refu¬ 
gee Department of the Foreign Office, mentioned as reported in Bnbassy’s 
cable of June 7, No. 4557. There follows the substance of the memo- 

rand urn: 

1. The anxiety of the President and thB State Department for the 
speedy removal from southern Italy of refugees who have escaped from 
enemy territory is shared by the British Government. It is stated 

by the Foreign Office that it was aware of the large number of refu¬ 
gees arriving from Yugoslavia in Italy and that it agrees emphatically 
with the view that in no way should the escape of refugees from the 
Balkans to Italy be discouraged. Marshal Tito has promised cooperation 
and such measures as are possible to alleviate the plight of Jews in 
Hungary have been taken by the British authorities. 

2. The British military authorities in the Middle East were pre¬ 
pared and willing to accommodate 40,000 Yugoslav refugees in Egypt but 
since UNRRA has not been able as yet to secure the necessary medical 
staff the military authorities doubt that they can accommodate more 
than the 25,000 who have arrived in Egypt already. 

Therefore, the Foreign Office has requested the European head¬ 
quarters of UNRRA to expedite provision of a medical staff. 

3. Every effort to carry out plans already completed to move as 
many Jewish refugees as possible from the Balkans is being made by the 
British authorities. As soon as the Rumanian Red Cross, the Swiss 
authorities in Rumania, and the International Red Cross in conjunction 
with the Jewish agency for Palestine can make the necessary arrange¬ 
ments, a British ship can be ready at 30 days notice to proceed to 
Constanza for the evacuation of Jewish refugees. However, it seems that 
in all probability the German Government will not grant the necessary 
safe conduct in this case any more than in that of the SS TARI for 
which the Anerican Embassy to Turkey had negotiated. However, we will 

- 651 - 

actively pursue the matter. 

4. The establishment of a refugee camp in Tripolitania has been 
agreed to by the British Government and it is examining the proposal 
that Sicily should become a destination for refugees. 

5. Tt is agreed to by the Foreign Office that camp Iyautey at 
Fedhala should not be opened to refugees from Italy as it must be kept 
available for those refugees coming from Spain. 

6. Concerning the proposal that HM Government should grant Pal¬ 
estine immigration certificates to Jewish refugees in liberated Italy, 
the British while they do not doubt the desirability of moving them 
far operational reasons, nevertheless feel that since they are in an 
area where they are safe from enemy persecution, they should give pre¬ 
ference for rescue under the limited quotas allotted for immigration 
into Palestine to those Jews who are still in danger of thoir lives 
and can be got to safety out of enemy controlled territory. 

The Foreign Office concludes by saying that this means that while 
considerable numbers of Yugoslav refugees from Italy have already been 
received in Palestine, in order that Palestine may be kept available 
for Jews escaping in increasing numbers through Turkey from places of 
danger, the alternative places of refuge should be used to the greatest 


- 652 - 




FRCMt Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: American Embassy, London 

DATED: Jane 3, 1944 

NUMBER: 4413 


Facilities in southern Italy for caring for refugees who have 
escaped from enemy territory are becoming so over-crowded that it is 
essential to remove refugees rapidly to other areas* It is particu¬ 
larly important that this be done without delay so that the flow of 
refugees into southern Italy is not in any way discouraged or impeded* 
The following cable which has been sent to Robert Murphy in Algiers 
indicated more fully the nature of this problem and its importance: 

"Our information indicates that refugees have been arriving from 
Yugoslavia to Italy at the average rate of over 1800 per week and 
that this flow is expected to continue and may well increase* It also 
appears that unless these refugees can be removed rapidly to other 
areas, the military authorities are fearful that the facilities in 
southern Italy for refugees may become seriously over-taxed* 

"The whole matter has been discussed with the President who has 
made it clear that under no circumstances should the escape of refugees 
vJ> Italy from the Balkan countries be discouraged. The flow of refu¬ 
gees from Yugoslavia to Italy is important not only from the standpoint 
of saving the lives of Yugoslavs but also in order that as many refu¬ 
gees as possible from other Balkan countries may be able to escape 
through Yugoslavia. In this connection. Cable No. Yugos 102 from 
Cairo, dated April 29, indicates that support in rescuing Hungarian 
Jews has been promised by Tito* In view of the plight of Jews today 
in Hungary, it is essential that we do what we can to facilitate their 

"We recognize that the crux of this matter is finding suitable 
places to which these refugees can be removed. In this connection, 
the following should be borne in mind. 

(1) As many as possible of these refugees should be 
moved to camps in the Middle East. UNRRA is making 
every effort to supply sufficient medical and other 

(2) In so far as Jewish refugees are concerned, present 
plans to move as many as possible to Palestine should be 
carried out without delay. In this connection it should 

- 653 

be borne in mind that in the case of Turkey, the British 
have adopted the policy that all Jews escaping into Turkey 
from the Balkan countries will be permitted to go to 
Palestine. These refugees are then placed in camps in 
Palestine where they are checked for security purposes* 

(3) For some time we have been pressing the British 
to establish with our cooperation havens of refuge for 
these people in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, but without 
any results to date* 

(4) The President suggested the possibility that seme 
of these refugees night be taken to Sicily. This should 
be carefully explored together with the possibility of a 
substantial expansion of facilities on the Italian main¬ 
land * 

(5) While we do not consider it desirable to bring 
refugees from Italy to Camp Iyautey at Fedhala since all 
of the accommodations of that camp must be kept available 
for refugees from Spain, the possibility of establishing 
other camps in French North Africa for refugees from Italy 
should, of course, be borne in mind. 

n Bearing in mind that the flow of refugees into Italy from the 
Balkan countries must not be interfered with, you are requested to 
suhnit as soon as possible your views and recommendations as to all 
possible havens of refuge in which these people might be temporarily 

Please convey the contents of this cable to representatives of 
UNRRA and Ackermann of the War Refugee Board, as well as the appro¬ 
priate military authorities. You should discuss this whole matter 
with them and cooperate with them in solving this most urgent problem." 

According to the best information available there are in southern 
Italy several thousand Jewish refugees. The prompt removal of these 
refugees to Palestine would constitute an important step in helping to 
solve the problem indicated. Accordingly, the Department and the War 
Refugee Board would like to know at the earliest possible moment 
whether the British Government will grant Palestine certificates to 
these Jewish refugees and will facilitate their promt removal to 

In taking up this matter with the British Government you should 
bear in mind the following • 

Since the closing of the Bulgarian-TurkLsh frontier in May 1943, 
the British Government has been following the policy of authorizing. 

- 654 - 

after a preliminary security check in Turkey, the onward transport to 
Palestine of all Jews who succeed in escaping to Turkey from enemy 
territory. Once in Palestine the British place these people in camps 
where another security check is made, and if found satisfactory, they 
are gradually released as legal immigrants to Palestine against the 
current half-yearly immigration quota. It is apparent that the appli¬ 
cation of a similar policy in the case of Jews now in southern Italy 
would make possible the prompt removal of such refugees to Palestine. 

Please advise us urgently of the attitude of the British Government 
in this matter. 

This message has been repeated to Murphy, Chapin and Ackermann in 



- 655 - 








Secretary of State, Washington 
American Embassy, London 
June 12, 1944 


At hie press conference on June 9 the President announced that 
the historic Army camp. Fort Ontario, at Oswego, mew York, has been 
set aside as an Emergency Refugee Shelter. A group of 1,000 refugees 
are being brought immediately from Italy to this country outside of 
the regular immigration procedure, and will be placed in the Emergency 
Refugee Shelter where they will remain for the duration of the war. 

The President released the text of a cable which he had sent to 
Ambassador Robert Murphy in Algiers on June 8. The text of this 
cable is as follows: 

(Insert text of attached cable) 

The President also revealed that while the War Refugee Board is 
charged with the overall responsibility for this project, the Arnjy 
shall take the necessary security precautions so that these refugees 
will remain in the camp and the actual administration of the camp is 
to be in the hands of the War Relocation Authority. 

For your information, the War Refugee Board regards the action 
which has been taken by the President as a great step forward in the 
efforts of this Government to rescue victims of enemy oppression in 
imminent danger of death and % to afford such victims all possible 
relief and assistance. 

The significance of this step can only be properly appraised 
against the background of the numerous vigorous measures taken by 
the President and the War Refugee Board since January in an intensive 
effort to rescue intended victims of Hitler*s brutality. The further 
action now taken by the President in bringing refugees more than 
4,000 miles to this country to a place of safety should again clearly 
demonstrate to the world that our efforts to save refugees constitute 
a real and most important Government policy. 

With today 1 s announcement we should be in a stronger position to 
urge Allied and neutral countries to expand their existing refugee 
facilities. This Government is confident that an intensified Joint 
effort of all Allied and neutral countries can save many additional 
human lives. 

- 656 - 

To the extent that the President'• move becomes known in the 
occupied countries, it should hare an important psychological effect 
in convincing the Nazis and their minions throughout Europe that this 
country means business when it says that the fate of persecuted peoples 
is one of our deep concerns. 

There is already evidence that the efforts of this Government in 
the refugee field have brought new hope to the oppressed peoples of 
Europe, The President's action yesterday should serve as a further 
concrete manifestation to all oppressed peoples of the sincerity and 
effectiveness of this Government's humanitarian policy. 

With the above in mind, please take the following action as expedi¬ 
tiously as possible; 

(1) Bring to the attention of the British Government the a ction 
which has been taken by the President, emphasising the significance 
of this action in the refugee field. In exploring with the British 
Governi6ent the question of expanding existing refugee facilities in 
the Mediterranean area and finding new havens of refuge for these 
people in that area (your 4567 of June 7), you should make clear 
that this Government is determined to find havens of refuge for all 
persecuted peoples who can escape from German controlled territory. 

In addition to the possibilities mentioned in our No. 4413 of June 3, 
the President has also suggested the possibility of taking refugees 
to Cyprus. As the President indicated in his cable of June 9 to 
Ambassador Murphy, it is most important that efforts to take refugees 
from Italy to areas close by be intensified. 

(2) To the extent possible, consistent with the military situa¬ 
tion, every effort should be made to give publicity to the President's 
action and its significance, particularly in the neutral countries and 
enemy territory. 

- 657 - 





Circular Fourteenth 

For Norweb from the War Refugee Board. 

On June 9 the President announced to the press that the 
army camp Fort Ontario Oswego New Tork has been set aside as 
an emergency refugee shelter to house one thousand refugees 
who are being brought to this country immediately from Italy 
outside the regular immigration procedure. Refugees will 
remain ito the camp for the duration of the war. The text of 
the cable despatched to Ambassador Robert Murphy in Algiers 
on June 8 was released to the press by the President and 
appeared in the radio bulletin of June 9. The War Refugee 
Board is charged by the President with overall responsibility 
for this project. The army has been directed to take the 
necessary security precautions to insure that the refugees 
remain in the camp during the war. The War Relocation Authority 
is to be responsible for the actual administration of the camp. 
The Board regards the action taken by the President as a great 
step forward in the efforts of this Government to rescue 
refugees in imminent danger of death and to afford all possible 
relief and assistance to such victims. This step can only be 
properly appraised against the background of the many vigorous 
measures taken by the President and the Board in the intensive 
effort to rescue the victims of Hitler*s extermination policies. 
The action taken by the President in bringing refugees from 
Italy to a place of safety in this country should again 
demonstrate clearly to the world that it 'is an important policy 
of this Government to rescue as many refugees as possible. 
Following this announcement this Government should be in a 
stronger position to urge Allied and neutral countries to expand 
their efforts Oh behfclf of refuged*• It is the confident hope 
of this Government that through the Joint efforts of Allied and 
neutr al countries many additional lives can be saved. Hopefully, 
the President*s action will become known in the occupied areas 
and should have an important psychological effect in convincing 
the Nazis and their subordinates throughout Europe that this 
Government is serious in its deep concern for the fate of 
persecuted peoples. Evidence is already at hand that the 
efforts of this Government in the refugee field have brought 
new hope to the persecuted people in the occupied areas and 
the President’s action should serve as a further manifestation 
of the effectiveness and security ^sincerity/ of the humani¬ 
tarian policy of this Government. 


June 14, 1944 

- 658 - 

The President has also directed, in addition to the action 
indicated above, that a survey be made immediately of the 
possibility of enlarging existent refugee facilities in the 
Mediterranean Area and finding new havens of refuge in that 
area for these people. Movements to increase the quota of the 
refugee camps in the Middle East from 25,000 to 40,000 are being 
made. The opening of a camp in Tripolitan!a which would 
accommodate about 1,500 persons has been agreed to by the 
British Government. We are canvassing the possibility of taking 
refugees to Cyprus together with possibility that seme southern 
Italy refugees may be cared for in Sicily, pursuant to the 
Presidents suggestion. We are also exploring other possibilities. 
The above represents an effort of this Government, in cooperation 
with the British Government, to find places of refuge in which 
shelter may be found by all persons escaping from Italy. 

Tou are requested, keeping the above in mind, to act as 
expeditiously as possible in the following manner. The fore¬ 
going should be brought to the attention of the government to 
vhlch you are accredited, the significance of the action in 
the refugee field being emphasised. The determination of this 
Government to find havens of refuge for all persecuted peoples 
who can escape from German-controlled areas should be made 
clear to the government to which you are accredited. Please 
explore carefully therefore with such government all possible 
means by which further aid in the rescue and relief of victims 
of enemy persecution can be given by it. Consistent with the 
military situation every effort should be made to give publicity 
in the neutral countries and in enemy territories to the 
Presidents action and its significance. 

The results of the action which you take pursuant to this 
telegram should be reported Immediately. 



- 659 - 




Distribution of true 
reading only by special 


DATED: August 11, 1944 
REC'D: 8:15 p.m., 12th 

arrangement, (Secret V) 

Secretary of State, 


106, August 11, 2 p.m. 

For War Refugee Board from Ackermann No. 105. 

Just returned from Bari where survey made Hungarian Yugoslav 
situations. Discussions with British American Partisans indicate 
responsibilities from Hungary not (repeat not) favorable presently 
because Yugo-Hungarian border too well guarded, i am informed 
Partisans now control isolated region their side Drava River where 
Hungarians are safe if they reach there by own efforts. A handful 
have reached safety in last few months. Allied and Partisan forces 
in this area not even sufficient for intelligence purposes but sit¬ 
uation expected to improve. 

Yugoslav situation improving. In July over 2,500 refugees evac¬ 
uated, 900 oeing orphan children, by air from interior balance old 
men, women, children by boat from coast. However, there is great 
immediate need for supplies to be brought into liberated areas to 
prevent several million people from starving or freezing to death. 
Approximately four million are homeless. Tents would aid tremen¬ 
dously but require plane transport. Many without proper clothing. 

Some small boatB available from time to time to bring clothing to 
Vi8 for distribution from there by young men who evade Bozeer guards 
regularly. Latter statement by Partisans confirmed by Allied authort- 
tlefi* Food and medicine also urgent, particularly dry or condensed 
roilk for nursing mothers and children. Much difficulty envisaged 
to get transport these supplies but believe there will be space 
occasionally for small amounts. Again urge that stockpile be created 
so that if transport available or Germans pull out this aid could be 
carried immediately. Will discuss with Murphy, Arny and UNRRA repre¬ 
sentative next few days but urge you do all possible your end. Proper 
agency for procurement supplies appears AML now Cairo but this may 
change rapidly. Will advise. Report also comes by pouch. 


- 660 - 




Distribution of true 
reading only by special 
arrangement. (Secret W) 

Secretary of State, 

653, October 6, 5 p.m. 


DATED: October 6, 1944 
BEC'D: 9:11 p.m. 

Ackermann* s 113. 

Tollowing 1. summary of situation evacuation refugees from 
Yugoslavia referred to in WBB 50, On September 18 onij 2<3 evacuated 
“ !*“• “»»• WW d« t> part t» baa 

of aS™. ! b f,‘ K>llu “l altaatIon which ha. r.duc.d nuitbci- 

** h d if plane tra Yfic commences again it is 
•£T2Lth re i 9Ume 6Va T tl0nB 18 ex P ected this will take sev- 

proximatelv 650 °™ f and airmen have priority. Balance of ap- 

li 660 refu ? e6B are in neighborhood of Topusko where I am 

go throLh thi are r *a tlVe T y 8Sfe from &ermftns naleee retreat should 
tally .iL.^m 8eotlon * * n 8UCh eoe® danger will increase substant- 
to moiPA ™ g ^° Up wlth raany old Persons and children is difficult 

to “eve rapidly. Representative of British Military Mission which 

Ss.!ss: 4 ,rs2!s2 9 r this mtter 8tated he 

”~ r ” - ~o‘toto- u * 

trlp> Approximately 20 transport planes can do Job in one 


- 661 - 








American Delegation, Rome 
Secretary of State, Washington 
September 8, 1944 


See my 302, September 4, 5 p.m. and Department's 114, dated 
August 30, 7 p.m. 

The following information was obtained from a note dated the 
eighth of September from the Holy See: The Pope's approach through 
atlean channels to the Government of Germany requesting that approxi¬ 
mately 9,000 refugees in Northern Italy be released and transported 
to Southern Italy or elsewhere was made by Nuncio in Berlin (see 
Taylor's 309), The result of this request was that Germany claimed 
that in the Italian Socialist Republic lay the authority for these 
individuals. It was further indicated by the Vatican that with 
that body they had no communication. A complete text via air follows: 



- 662 - 



A I R Q R A U 

FROMs American Embassy 
Madrid, Spain 
DATED: February 15, 1944 
REC V D: February 25 1 p.«. 


Secretary of State, 


A-59, February 15, 1944, 12 noon. 

I do not consider this an opportune Moment in cur relatione 
with Spain to approach Spanish Government in sense suggested in 
Department's 207 January 25, midnight. Spanish Government has 
during past year become thoroughly familiar with our policy with 
regard to rescue of political and racial refugees from Naai- 
occupied Europe and Department has been kept informed as to extent 
to which it has cooperated in this work. In this connection 
Department's attention is called to my confidential despatch 1967 
of January 31 summarising evacuations of Allied refugees from 
Spain in 1943 in which it is pointed out that Spanish Government 
during that year facilitated evacuation of well over 20,000 
refugees out of estimated 22,000 who entered Spain, most of 
remainder being stateless for whom destinations could not be 
found and of whom 567 have since departed for Palestine as 
reported in my airgrara A-39 of January 27. 

Pending receipt of separate report Department's attention 
is called to following despatches submitted by Embassy during past 
year which it is believed contain most of information desired: 

648 February 16, 960 May 31, 990 June 10, 1165 August 5, 1391 
October 1, 1692 December 7, 1943; 1932 January 24 and 1967 Janu¬ 
ary 31, 1944. 

When a better opportunity presents Itself I shall speak to 
Foreign Minister along lines suggested in Department's telegram 
but formal representations at this time would be less helpHil 
than they will be a little later whan the present crisis in air 
relations with Spain has been successfully passed. 


- 663 - 






Secretary of State, Washington 
American Babasay, Madrid 
February 18, 1944, Midnight 




The foregoing is for the Ambassador's attention. 

Please refer to the Department's telegram of January 25, 1944 
no. 207 with reference to War Refugee Board. 

The Board has resolved, in formulating a program of immediate 
action, that an attempt to facilitate the evacuation from occupied 
areas to Spain of as many Jewish refugees and others as possible 
is one of the projects which should be pushed with the greatest of 
speed. It is understood by the Board that French refugee movement 
is well organised and functioning and that some thousands have 
already been transferred to North Africa. Furthermore the Board 
understands that arrangements are being made at the present 
to transfer to North Africa stateless refugees and those lacking 
protection of their own government. 

It is felt by the Board that the most feasible way of 
accomplishing this extremely urgent task is: (a) to remove 
refugees now in Spain from there as rapidly as possible, thus 
making room for more and (b) to obtain from the Government of 
Spain the greatest possible relaxation of the border and other 
controls and other action designed to encourage the entry into 
Spain of refugees. 

The Board has agreed upon the following concrete proposals 
with the object of increasing the movement of refugees from 
occupied areas through Spain to refbge elsewhere. (1) A 
substantial number of refugees now in Spain can be moved to a 
camp in North Africa which is now established and which is ready 
to receive refugees and the transfer should be facilitated. 

(2) In order to care for new refugees who will arrive in the 
future, especially stateless refugees aid those lacking pro¬ 
tection of their government, and to effect their removal from 
Spain, if necessary on an involuntary basis, the government of 
Spain should be requested to maintain reception c amp s in which 
future arrivals may remain until they are transferred to North 
Africa. As a basis for obtaining the necessary action by the 
Government of Spain, they should be informed (a) that necessary 

- 664 - • 

arrangements will be made by War Refugee Board to finance the 
maintenance and support of such stateless and unprotected refugees 
as arrive in Spain in accordance with these arrangements until 
they can be removed to North Africa and (b) that responsibility 
for arranging for the transfer of stateless and unprotected 
refugees to North Africa as rapidly as possible will be assumed 
by War Refugee Board. The Government of Spain may be reminded 
in this connection of the recent evacuation of refugees to 
Palestine and of arrangements being made at the present time for 
the removal of stateless refugees to the North African camp which 
has already been established. (3) You should request the Spanish 
Government in the strongest manner possible to take effective 
steps to encourage the entry into Spain of more refugees. Besides 
relaxation of border control and the taking of other actions, it 
will be extremely helpful if steps will be taken by the Government 
of Spain to facilitate the spread of information to the occupied 
areas that Spain is ready to grant asylum to refugees until they 
are removed to another country. 


The commitments given above are not intended in any way to 
replace the French Committee of National Liberation's activities 
or responsibilities with respect to the flow through Spain of 
French refugees. 

We anxiously desire to support the Board's program given 
above and it is requested that you approach the Spanish Govern¬ 
ment at the earliest possible moment with a view to obtaining 
their agreement to the plan. It is requested that you report as 
soon as possible regarding practical measures that would be 
necessary, including the requirements of funds, to put the 
proposed plan into operation in Spain. 

Of course it will be appreciated by you if these negotiations 
with Spain are on an entirely different level than the political 
and economic negotiations being carried on with that Government. 
This Government is simply addressing to the Spanish Government a 
humanitarian appeal rather than a request to take certain action 
favorable to us at a sacrifice to them. Therefore we desire that 
the proposed negotiations with respect to refugees should be 
carried rapidly and effectively to a conclusion without becoming 
entangled in other pending problems being discussed with the 

Furthermore it is important to remember that it is this 
Government * s policy to move to Camp Lyautey promptly as many 

- 665 - 

stateless and unprotected refugees as facilities allow. Con¬ 
sequently you should make every attempt to encourage the voluntary 
migration to the camp of the greatest possible number of eligible 
persons in Spain at the present time. Of course this evacuation 
operation should be executed as rapidly as possible. 

The progress being made in this matter should be reported 
to the Department as soon as possible. 


- 666 - 




This telegram must be 
paraphrased before being 
communicated to anyone 


DATED: February 28, 1944 
REC'D: 3:32 a.~ 

other than a Governmental 
agency. (SC-00) 

Secretary of State 

683, February 28, 6 p.m. (Section One) 

Proposals for war refugee board outlined in Department's 463, 
February 18, midnight, raise two separate questions, first that of 
evacuation of stateless and unprotected refugees now in Spain, and 
secondly that of the facilitation of passage of further numbers of 
such refugees into or through Spain from German occupied territories. 

(l) With reference to first question there are now estimated to 
be in Spain approximately 1300 refugees who might be classified as 
stateless and unprotected. Of this number about 400 are Spanish 
Sephardic Jews who have recently been brought to Spain from German 
concentration camps under agreement between Spanish and German 
governments for evacuating elsewhere but whose travel to further desti¬ 
nations has not yet been arranged; it is expected that considerable 
number of these persons will apply for admission to Fedhala center. 
Another 450 have already applied for evacuation to Fedhala and esti¬ 
mated 250 have received or will soon receive visas for other desti¬ 
nations principally Canada. Most of remaining 200 prefer to remain 
in Spain for one of the following reasons? (a) to be near families 
still in German occupied countries; (b) to await visas for desti¬ 
nations to which they cannot at present time proceed; (c) because of 
feeling based on distrust of the French, that they will be better off 
in Spain than at Fedhala and inability to proceed to any other desti¬ 

Response of refugees^to offer of evacuation to Fedhala center 
(*) astic /.unenthuslastly/ due largely to this distrust and to fe&r 
tha£ Lyautey will turn out to be French concentration Campana 
anunder instructions from Department we have attempted no means of 
persuasion beyond acquainting them with nature and conditions of pro¬ 
posed project. French authorities have moreover insisted on subjecting 
all applications to detailed scrutiny at Algiers and Rabat before al¬ 
lowing persons to proceed from Spain and present indications are that 
considerable numbers may be turned down on security and other grounds. 
It appears therefore that under present circumstances this project may 
not prove solution_of problem of clearing residue of stateless refugees 
out of sea in ** /Spain/ and that there will remain question of desti¬ 
nations for those who either do not choose to accept this offer of 
evacuation or who are not considered acceptable by French and Allied 

• Apparent omission. 

** Apparent error in transmission 

- 667 - 

authorities, (In this connection I should appreciate clarification 
of meaning of "involuntary" removal of refugees from Spain). It 
may be mentioned with reference Department’s 512 February 24 that 
present delay in completing arrangements for departure of refugees 
for Fedhala is due principally to above mentioned requirement that 
applications be submitted to North Africa for prior approval. 

i /End of Section 0ne7 


- 668 - 


FROM: American Embassy, Madrid 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: February 28, 1944 

NUMBER: 683 


(Section Two) 

Stateless refugees in Spain, as previously reported, are at 
present being well cared for by private American charitable organiza¬ 
tions represented by David Blickenstaff, who has also been instrument¬ 
al in arranging during the past year the evacuation of approximately 
900 such refugees. At present the number of stateless and unprotected 
refugees entering Spain is negligible. 

(2) It should be pointed out in reference to the problem of 
facilitating escape of additional numbers of refugees from German 
occupied territory into Spain that reduced rate at which such refugees 
are now entering Spain is not attributable to Spanish border control, 
but is considered due rather to difficulties of reaching the Pyrenees 
frontier from points within occupied Europe. 

Virtu al i y no refugees of this type, so far as is known, have been 
prevented from entering Spain by Spanish border control or turned back 
by them to German authorities and by encouraging a further relaxation 
of this control there would appear to be little advantage gained. On 
the contrary there are definite arguments against such relaxation 
principally that it would facilitate the undetected entiy of German 
agents into Spain at a time when one of our major objectives is to rid 
Spain of such agents and would render increasingly difficult the con¬ 
trol of smuggling activities, which directly impair our preemptive 
purchase program. Moreover, it would give to the Spanish authorities 
convenient excuse for closing their eyes to such of these activities 
as they might wish to let pass without notice. 

It is considered by me to be unnecessary to suggest to the Spanish 
Government that it facilitate spread of information to German occupied 
areas that Spain is prepared to grant asylum to refugees in view of 
the fact that any changes in Spanish policy toward refuge (*■) ^refugees/ 
are known throughout occupied Europe by means of underground grapevine 
almost as soon as tney are known in Spain. Moreover, it can hardly be 
denied that a broadcast offer by the Spanish Government of asylum to 
persons fleeing from German authorities would have political impli¬ 
cations over and above its primary humanitarian purpose and it is not 
illogical to suppose that one of primary results of such a step would 
be immediate tightening of German border control along t,he Pyrenees and 
increased surveillance over routes leading toward that frontier, a 
development which could seriously jeopardize the chances of escape of 
American and Allied air forces personnel forced to land in German held 
territory and maxe escape more difficult than before for all refugees. 

* Apparent omission. 

(SncL of Section Tvo) 


- 669 - 


This telegram must be 
paraphrased before being 
communicated to anyone 
other than a Governmental 
agency. (SC-00) 


DATED: February 28, 1944 
HEC'D 11;44 p.m., March 1 

Secretary of State (Section Three) 

It is my feeling that Spanish Government could best expedite re¬ 
lease of refugees from German controlled areas of Europe by directly 
approaching German Government with offer to grant transit or temporary 
residence visas to refugees wishing to leave those aheas in much the 
same way that it has recently effected release of above mentioned 
Sepnardic Jews the ultimate destinations for such refugees vto be 
arranged by the War Refugee Board or other such organization. It 
should be emphasized, however, that sympathetic consideration of 
Spanish Government to such a proposal can hardly be expected until 
there is found more adequate solution to problem of destinations for 
these refugees than provided by Fedhala project in order that effec¬ 
tive evacuation of stateless refugees still in Spain can be expedi¬ 
tiously accomplished and assurances given Spanish Government that »11 
refugees admitted to Spain in future under such an arrangement would 
be removed without delay to further destinations. This would neces¬ 
sarily involve postponement of screening of refugees until after their 
departure from Spain although it is appreciated that adequate measures 
would have to be taken at some later point to sift out agents which 
Germans would be certain, as in the past, to plant among them. 

I have no idea as to what reaction of Spanish Government would be 
to such a proposal or how successful it would be should it agree to 
take up matter with German Government. In view of fact that principal 
obstacles to escape of refugees from German held territory appear to 
lie within tnat territory rather than at the Spanish frontier, however, 
I ieel tnat this approach would come closer to heart of the problem. 

I am. 

for the present, making no approaches to Spanish Government 

2 ' -o — vjruvernmt 

on subject of departments telegram pending consideration of points 
raised herein. I may say in this connection that it is still my 
opinion that present political and economic crisis with Spain is apt 
to have adverse effect on receptivity of Spanish Government even to 
proposals of purely humanitarian character. 

Repeated to London and Lisbon and by pouch to Algiers. 

(:::r of 


- 67C - 








Secretary of State, Washington 
American Embassy, Madrid 
February 25, 1944 


You are referred herewith to the Department's telegram of 
January 25, no* 207, regarding the establishment of the War Refu¬ 
gee Board. John W. Pehle, the Acting Executive Director of the 
Board, has informed the Department that in conformity with the 
President*8 order of January 22, it is proposed by the Board to ap¬ 
point Mr. David Blickenstaff, representative of the American 
Friends Service Committee in Madrid, as the Special Representative 
of the Board, and to be designated by the Department as Special 
Attache to the Embassy on War Refugee matters. It is provided in 
the President's order that the State Department shall appoint such 
Special Attaches upon the recommendation of the Board, that their 
duties and responsibilities shall be defined by the Board in con¬ 
sultation with the State Department, and that they shall have 
diplomatic status. 

It has been indicated by the American Friends Service Com¬ 
mittee that it has no objection to Mr. Blickenstaff's accepting 
this appointment. 

After discussing the matter with Mr. Blickenstaff, if this ap¬ 
pointment meets with your approval, you should advise him that he 
is so designated and that he is to have diplomatic status. It is 
assumed that on the part of the Spanish Government there will be 
no objection to this designation, although you may informally ap¬ 
proach the Spanish authorities, if, in your discretion, you con¬ 
sider it necessary or advisable to do so. We request that you con¬ 
firm by telegram Blickenstaff's designation or that you advise us 
promptly if there is any reason why the designation should not 
become effective at once. 

You should inform Blickenstaff that: 

(a) He is charged with the responsibility and duty 
of carrying out the policies and programs of the Board in 

(b) He is responsible to the Ambassador and should 
regularly and fully discuss his activities and problems 
with him; 

- 671 - 

(c) The necessary communications facilities 
required for the carrying on of his official duties 
will be provided him by the iknbassy; 

(d) He shall extend all possible assistance to 

the Ambassador in carrying out the instructions contained 
in the Department 1 s reference telegram; 

(e) He shall work with and give all possible assistance 
to public and private agencies operating in Spain in this 
field regardless of whether such organizations are American* 
international or foreign; 

(f) He shall develop and assist in the development of 
programs and implementation of measures for the rescue, 
maintenance, relief and transportation of refugees; 

(g) He 8hall forward recommendations and frequent 
reports on progress of work and difficulties encountered 
to the Board; 

(h) In so far as the Trading with the enemy Act is 
concerned, the Wax Befugee Board and its representatives 
in the field have been vested by the Secretary of the 
Treasury with full authority to communicate with enemy 
territory in carrying out the purposes of the Order. Also 
the Secretary of the Treasury has delegated to the War 
Refugee Board and its representatives the power to authorize 
any public or private agencies,who may be subject to the 
provisions of our Trading with the enemy Act, to communicate 
with enemy territory for the purpose of carrying out the 
Order. Blickenstaff is authorized to act accordingly. 

further detailed instructions will follow from time to time 
after receipt of confirmation of Blickenstaff’s designation. 



- 672 - 




This telegram must be 
paraphrased before being 
communicated to anyone 
other than a Government 
agency. (SCOO) 

Secretary of State, 


378, March 3, 11 a.m. 

Before discussing with Blickenstaff contents of Department's 530, 
February 25, 10 p.m., i should like to be advised further as to pro¬ 
posed relationship between work of War Refugee Board in Spain and that 
of the "representative in Spain of American relief organizations". 

As reported in my despatch 1932, January 24, latter is joint agency 
representing private American charitable organizations engaged in 
refugee relief in Spain and is under Blickenstaff'e direction. 

Specifically I should like to be informed as to whether, in the 
event of Blickenstaff 1 s designation as representative of the board, he 
would be expected to give up his present work. The agency he now 
heads is at present boaring virtually entire burden financial and 
other wise of care of stateless and unprotected refugees in Spain and 
it is my recommendation that it be allowed to continue to do so and 
that Blickenstaff be permitted to continue as its director while 
serving concurrently as board's representative with designation as 

As I have taken great pains to point out the problem of the care 
of these refugees is being very competently handled by Blickenstaff 
and his organization which was set up at my suggestion to unify 
efforts of participating private agencies and I wish to avoid any 
changes which might impair effectiveness of this work. I am in 
thorough agreement with the board that Blickenstaff is highly quali¬ 
fied to represent it in Spain, but I wish to make sure that his ser¬ 
vices will be utilized in the most effective manner possible. 

Repeated to London by pouch to Lisbon. 


DATED: March 3, 1944 
REC'D: 6:17 a.m.. 4th 


- 673 - 




FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: Amembassy, Madrid 

DATED: March 23, 1944, 5 p.m. 

NUMBER: 799 


With respect to your telegram of February 28, 1944 no. 683 
we appreciate the comments and suggestions with respect to the 
War Refugee Board contained therein. The War Refugee Board wishes 
to point out that Camp Lyautey will not be the only haven to which 
refugees can be removed from Spain. The Board now has negotiations 
in progress for other havens and you should assume and may advise 
the Government of Spain that there will be removed from Spain all 
refugees from occupied areas entering Spain. The Board was 
pleased to learn that no obstacles are being placed by the 
Spanish Government in the way of stateless or other refugees 
wishing to enter Spain from France with or without proper papers 
and the Board hopes in the future that Government will follow 
a generous policy in that regard. 

The Board knows that the number of stateless refugees 
entering Spain from occupied areas is extremely small at the 
present time but the Board desires to inform you that it is 
taking vigorous steps at the present time vis-a-vis Germany 
and the satellite countries which it is confidently expected 
will stimulate the flow of refugees into Spain and other 
neutral countries from occupied areas. The Board will continue 
to take all possible action to this end. In any event, in the 
coming months when the snow melts in the Pyrenees the flow of 
refugees into Spain is certain to increase. 

The Board believes that Spain is most likely to receive 
substantial numbers of refugees this coming spring as a result 
of the pressure now being brought to bear on the Axis. The 
Board is extremely desirous that the Government of Spain be 
relieved of as many problems as possible connected with this 
influx, including finance, supply and supervision of refugees. 
Therefore the following plan of proposed operations in Spain 
is submitted by the Board for your consideration, advice and 
comment and such action as is indicated. 

All the Board*s operations in Spain, including the setting 
up and maintenance of refuge camps, would be supervised by the 
Special Attache to your Embassy under your direction. He would 

- 674 - 

have assigned to him a small staff which might include transporta¬ 
tion, supply and finance officers. As a base for operations the 
Attach^ and his immediate staff might use Madrid. It is proposed 
that as many as three reception centers be established along the 
French border should the volume of refugees so warrant. At each 
of these centers a supervisor with experience in refhge work 
should be in charge. Each supervisor would have a small staff. 
There would also be attached to each center a medical officer 
and possibly a small nursing staff. An important member of the 
staff of each center would be a qualified Security Officer 
approved by the War Department. These Security Officers would 
be attached to the reception centers as welfare workers instead 
of being assigned to the Office of the Military Attach^ in the 
Bnbassy. The dual responsibility of these officers would be to 
screen refugees in search of possible enemy agents and to obtain 
from bona fide refugees information of a military nature. 

Murillo, Tolosa and Figueras are tentatively suggested as 
reception centers. Other localities may be agreed upon later 
as points readily accessible to those crossing the Pyrenees. 

The Board is of the opinion that these centers should be 
in frontier areas rather than the interior for the following 

(1) The nearness of the centers to the frontier would 
reduce to a minimum the time during which the refugees would 
be in the hands of the Spanish authorities. 

(2) The refugees will x*equire immediate relief in food, 
clothing and medical attention once they have crossed the 
Spanish border as many of them will have previously been in 
hiding in France and have been subjected to the strenuous travel 
over the mountains on foot. The refugees would be kept out of 
the principal population centers, such as Madrid, as far as 
possible. The attention paid to the presence of refugees would 
also be reduced by the remoteness of the proposed centers. 

(3) The location of the centers near the border would 
result in close cooperation between" the staffs of the canters 
and the Spanish frontier officials. The refugees would remain 
in the centers only so long as to assure medical officers that 
they are in condition to travel; to allow for preliminary 
security screening and to supply them with whatever travel 
documents might be needed. 

Since the basic plan is to move those refugees who may 
enter Spain from occupied areas to North Africa as rapidly as 

- 675 - 

possible, it it hoped that the French authorities will assign 
to the reception centers as special details, qualified officers 
to screen the refugees for security and to affix to their travel 
documents the necessary visas* As regards the problem of 
scree n ing, it is of course possible and probable that enemy 
agents nay try to enter Spain as refugees. Therefore it is most 
desirable that when enemy agents are Identified by the security 
officers, such identification not be disclosed in Spain but the 
agents be removed to North Africa for apprehension. This policy 
has been used in the past with respect to enemy agents and it is 
clearly preferable that they be held in restraint in United 
Nations territory rather than be at liberty In a neutral country. 

It is requested that you report any objection which you 
think may be raised by the Spanish Government to the establishment 
of these centers in the foregoing manner and to their financing 
by the Board. The funds for their operation probably will be 
provided by private sources In the United States. As will be 
noted by you, this plan reduces to a minimum the responsibility 
of the Spanish Government. Tour comment on whether the staffs 
of the centers should be known to the Spanish Government as 
official employees of the Government or as representatives of 
American private welfare organisations will be appreciated tqr 
the Board, incidentally, the American Red Cross is reluctant 
to participate In the operations of the centers at this time. 

Clarification of the meaning of " involuntary removal" of 
refugees was requested by you In Section I of your telegram of 
FUbmary 28, 1944 No. 683. He anticipate that many of the 
refugees will wish to proceed to other areas than North Africa 
once they have escaped from occupied areas. However, the Board 
feels that it is undesirable that these refugees remain In 
Spain. They should proceed to North Africa where they may make 
arrangements for travel elsewhere with greater security for 
themselves and without embarrassment to the Government of Spain 
which might be caused should they remain there. It is proposed 
that the frontier officials and police authorities direct the 
refugees to the centers, providing them with permits to travel 
only from the point of apprehension to the nearest center, lb 
hope that the refugees will be advised by the Spanish officials 
that their presence in Spain will be tolerated oily so long 
as they conduct themselves in accordance with this program. 

After arrival at the centers, it will be explained to the 
refugees that the Spanish authorities have released them into 
the care of the centers. Every effort would then be made to 
convince the refugees that the travel of other refugees through 

- 676 - 

Spain dependa upon the rapid departure from Spain of those who 
have already entered. It might be further explained that after 
leaving Spain the refugees would be under the care of UNRRA 
officials rather than directly under French control. It is 
believed that such a policy will assure the quick and voluntary 
departure for North Africa of all refugees who may succeed in 
crossing the Spanish border if it is handled skillfully by 
the representatives of the Board. 

The Board hopes that you will give your prompt personal 
attention to this proposal and that your comments and suggestions 
will be cabled as soon as possible* 

War and State Departments have approved this cable. 

The foregoing is for Ambassador Hayes* attention. 


- 677 - 




FROM* The American Ambassador, Madrid 

TO* The Secretary of State, Washington 

DATE: April 6, 1944 

NUMBER* 1195 


For reasons pointed out in my message number 974 dated 
March 20, I do not feel that steps should be taken toward putting 
into effect any such plan of operations as that which was proposed 
in Department's message number 799 dated March 23 until and unless 
it becomes more clearly evident that the War Refugee Board’s 
efforts to stimulate the exodus of unprotected and stateless 
refugees from German occupied territories will result in fact in 
an increase in the number of such refugees entering Spain sufficient 
to tax the facilities which already exist for their care. 
strong recommendation is that the Board attempt to take full 
advantage of the already proven facilities which are alreacfy in 
existence in the form of Blickenstaff »s organization instead of 
endeavoring to set up an elaborate organization on the assumption 
that it will be justified by future developments, an assumption 
with which I am not prepared to agree as yet. Blickenstaff»s 
organization has shown itself to be fully capable of coping with 
the problems which have arisen so far in connection with the care 
of stateless refugees and it has also alreacfy obtained the con¬ 
fidence of the Government of Spain. It is essential that the 
wishes of the Spanish Government in the matter be not disregarded 
inasmuch as the success of the activities of the Board in Spain 
would depend in a large part upon the willingness of the Spanish 
Government to cooperate and although it would quite willingly 
recognize Blickenstaff as a representative of the Board I can 
state with assurance that the Government of Spain would prefer 
that this work be left in the hands of Blickenstaff and his 
organization. The Government of Spain would be suspicious of 
and disfavor any endeavor on the part of the Embassy to set up 
in Spain such an organization as is envisaged by the Board so long 
as the problem of stateless refugees can be handled adequately 
without such an organization and an unsalutary effect on other 
more important objectives might well be caused by such an attempt. 

In the absence of any apparent need for the presence of the 
numerous personnel mentioned by the Board, a request for admission 
into Spain might for example prejudice the admission of other 
personnel whose importance to the war effort is more direct. 

- 678 - 

If the existing facilities for the care of stateless and * 
unprotected refugees should be overtaxed and if a situation should 
develop in the future as the Board foresees doubtless the Govern¬ 
ment of Spain would look favorably upon the expansion of such 
facilities but it is felt that no good purpose could be served 
by endeavoring tc press the proposal of the Board until such 
tine arrives. 

The efforts of the Board to assure further destinations to 
ehich these refugees can proceed should be of the utmost value 
regardless of arrangements made for their care within Spain. 

During the past year the most important single obstacle to the 
complete effectiveness of Blickenst&ff's work has been the lack 
of such destinations. It is to be noted in this connection 
that the French authorities have rejected nearly one fourth of 
the Fedhala applications which have been submitted so far to 
North Africa for final approval. 


- 679 - 



OQBBISfff IAL BROMj American Babasay, 

Madrid, Spain 

*e«retary of Stat*, DATBj August 16, 1944 

Washington, D.C. BIC'Dj August 39, 1944 

A-OT, August 16, 1944, 4 p.a. 

A group of 410 Branch refugees departed fro* Spain for North 
Africa via Gibraltar on Auguat 14, bringing to approximately 3,400 
the total nu*ber of such refugees evacuated from Spain since begin- 
®t*g of year. It Is estimated that not more than 300 french refugees 
remain in Spain as of this date. 


- 680 - 




Secretary of State, 

A-188 May 10, 1944, 7:00 p.m. 

FROM: American Embassy 

Madrid, Spain 
DATED: May 10, 1944 

REC’D: May 20 11 a.m* 

CONFIDENTIAL Group of 221 French refugees sailed from Algeclras 
May 7 for North Africa, bringing to 906 total number of such refugees 
evacuated from Spain since beginning of year. It is estimated that 
approximately 650 French refugees remain in Spain as of this date, 
with new arrivals crossing frontier at estimated rate of 10 a day. 


- 681 - 








Secretary of State, Washington 
American Embassy, Madrid 
March 18, 1944 


Given below is the substance of license No. W-2155 issued to 
the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee of New York City 
by the Treasury Department. It is requested that the substance 
of this license be transmitted urgently to Mr. Samuel Sequerra, JDC 
representative, whose address is Hotel Bristol, Barcelona. 

(A) Notwithstanding General Ruling No. 11 authorisation is 
hereby granted to your representative in Spain, together with such 
agents as he may appoint, to communicate with persons in enemy or 
enemy-occupied territory by any means which he may deem expedient 
or necessary for the purpose of arranging the evacuation, to such 
areas of safety or relative safety as may be selected by such 
representative, of persons in such territory in imminent danger 
of their lives and to arrange for the safeguarding and sustenance 
of such persons until such evacuation is possible and to pursue 
any other action which may be appropriate for said purposes, 
including the payment of funds to persons in enemy or enemy- 
occupied territory who may have provided either goods or services 
in connection with the foregoing. In order to acquire the 
necessary local currency for the purpose of financing the opera¬ 
tions referred to above, the following three methods are authorised 
provided that method No. 3 should not be used if it is feasible to 
use either method No. 1 or No. 2 to obtain the local currency or 
exchange. (1) The currency or exchange of the country or 
countries in which the operations are to take place may be 
purchased in Spain if your representative is reasonably certain 
that the sellers have held such currency or exchange since before 
the date as of which such countries were frozen by the Government 
of the United States or, if acquired subsequent to that time, that 
the seller acquired such currency or exchange under circumstances 
which were not beneficial to the enemy, your representative to 
consult with the United States Qnbassy in Madrid when possible in 
such cases. The sellers of such local currency or exchange may 
be reimbursed in pesetas at the prevailing unofficial rates of 
exchange in Spain. (2) The local currency or exchange of countiy 
or countries in which the operations are to take place may be 
purchased in enemy or enemy occupied territory provided that 
reimbursement is not made until after the war. Reimbursement to 

- 682 - 

the seller of such local currency or exchange subsequent to the 
war may be insured by the establishment of blocked accounts on 
your books in the United States or such blocked accounts aay 
be in a bank in the United States or Spain, provided that there 
shall be no assignment of any interest in such blocked accounts 
^or payment from such blocked accounts unless specific approval 
is given by the Treasury Department in each case* (3) Necessary 
local funds, exchange, goods, or services may be purchased in 
enemy or enemy-occupied territory, the reimbursement therefor to 
be made in free currency notes or foreign exchange, provided that 
such reasonable steps as may be possible are taken by your 
representative to prevent such foreign exchange or free currency 
notes being acquired by persons who may give them to the enemy* 

(B) The total amounts represented by claims established 
against any blocked account established in accordance with this 
license, plus the sums paid out or otherwise obligated pursuant 

to this license, shall not exceed $100,000 or the peseta equivalent 

(C) A full report should be made to the United States Embassy 
in Madrid concerning the financial transactions completed pursuant 
to this license and your representative should insure to whatever 
extent possible that the sellers of local currency or exchange 

are persons acceptable to the United States Embassy at Madrid. 
Insofar as may be possible, your representative should be satisfied 
that any payments made to such persons will not be of benefit to 
the enemy* 

(D) Periodic reports with respect to the operations con¬ 
summated under this license should be filed with the United States 
Embassy in Madrid by your representative. 

It is requested that you inform Mr. Sequerra that Dr. Joseph 
Schwartz, the JDC representative in Lisbon, will give him 
instructions with regard to beginning the operations envisaged 
by license W-2155 and that he should comply with such instructions. 
The operations envisaged by the above quoted license are approved 
by the Treasury, the Department and the War Refugee Board and we 
request you to take such reasonable steps as may be necessary to 
facilitate carrying them into effect. Furthermore, you are 
requested to report to the Department at once with respect to 
any difficulties, especially in connection with financial opera¬ 
tions, that may be encountered and an indication as to progress 
made should be contained in your report. You should promptly 
forward to the Department reports filed with you pursuant to 
paragraph (C) of the license. 

- 683 - 

Delays are to be avoided as time is frequently of the essence 
in matters of this kind. To this end you are requested to make 
liberal interpretations concerning the authority granted under 
license, reporting any such Interpretations to the Department 
as and when made. It should be noted in this connection that 
license W-2155 is substantially the same as license issued pre¬ 
viously to this and other private agencies for the purpose of 
carrying out similar operations from Switzerland. We wish 
specifically to your attention to the provisions of paragraphs 
(A-l) and (A-3) of the license. Paragraph (A-l) has already been 
construed as allowing the purchase from persons in Spain of local 
currency or exchange irrespective of where the currency or exchange 
may in fact be located. You should note that even though under 
paragraph (A-3) foreign exchange may be made available in enemy or 
enemy-occupied territory, this method should be used if, under the 
circumstances, the relief and evacuation operations which the 
license permits can be carried into immediate execution most 
effectively thereby, although either one of the first two methods 
should be used in preference to the third method if operations 
will not be prejudiced in any way. 

This Government considers the saving of lives to be of 
paramount importance, as will have been recognized from previous 
communications concerning the War Refugee Board*s programs; 
although a vital part of our economic warfare is still preventing 
the enemy from acquiring foreign exchange, this consideration is 
to be subordinated to the maximum fulfillment of # the rescue programs 
being undertaken at the present time, of which the operations 
envisaged by the license discussed above are a part. 

The Treasury Department has issued to the JDC a license 
authorizing operations from Portugal which is identical in all 
respects with W-2155. The JDC representative in Lisbon, Dr. Joseph 
Schwartz, is expected to return to Lisbon in the near future, and 
the operations by Mr. Sequerra in Spain and the operations in 
Portugal are to be carried out under the general supervision of 
Dr. Schwartz. 


- 684 - 




FROM: American Embassy, Madrid 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATE: March 22, 1944 

HUMBER: 997 


I hare not transmitted the substance of Department*s 752, 

March 18, to Sequerra, JDC representative In Barcelona, by reason 
of the following considerations: 

(a) David Blickenstaff is understood by me to be the principal 
JDC representative in Spain, and not Sequerra; all business with the 
JDC has been transacted by the Embassy through Blickenstaff# 

(b) Sequerra*s loyalty to the Allied cause is not considered to 
be beyond doubt although apparently this fact has not been brought 

to the Department * s attention# Sequerra is a neutral subject (Portu^- 
guese) and although he has apparently done effective work in the field 
of relief of refugees, we have no basis for assuming that he would not 
deal with our enemies, particularly if pressure is applied. Until 
recently, Sequerra had a personal representative in Madrid who was a 
disreputable individual to whom a Palestine visa was refused by the 
British on the grounds that he was suspected of having given inforasu- 
tion to the Germans. It therefore appears to me to invite obvious 
and unnecessary risks which could have the most serious repercussions 
to entrust a person of this type with the responsibility of carrying 
out the operations described in the Departments telegram under refer¬ 

(c) For any American charitable organization or its representa¬ 
tives to engage in clandestine operations of the type contemplated by 
the license could well Jeopardize in Spain the entire position of these 
organizations. The work of these organizations has in the past been 
centralized in Blickenstaff*s office, and with the Embassy’s support, 
they have won respect and confidence of the Spanish Government, which 
has enabled them to do valuable work on behalf of unprotected and 
stateless refugees. This has frequently caused extreme discomfort 
to the Germans who want the Spanish Government to suppress the activity 
of these organizations, and welcome every pretext to bring force to 
bear to this end. We must assume that the operations contemplated 
by license W-2155 would soon become known to the Germans and a pretext 
to apply such force to the Spanish Government would be provided by 
the participation of the organizations in such operations. 

- 685 - 

(d) On the other hand, if the Germane considered that these 
operations could be turned to their own advantage, they might ac¬ 
complish this purpose by using these operations as an additional 
channel for getting their agents into territory controlled by Spain 
and the Allies. 

(e) My most serious objection is the danger that existing under¬ 
ground facilities within German occupied territory for accomolishing 
the escape of American and Allied airmen who have thereby been enabled 
to reach the Spanish frontier without detection, may be compromised 
by these operations, I am firmly convinced and determined that no * 
steps should be taken which might in the slightest measure jeopardise 
the chances of escape to safety of these airmen whose safety must be 
given first priority by our Government (prior to that of any other 
class of refugees) irrespective of humanitarian considerations, with 
which last I am, of course, in complete sympathy* 

(f) In view of the inevitable military significance which must 
be attached at this crucial time with any activities involving com¬ 
munication or the passage of persons into or out of occupied France, 
and having in mind the above considerations, I feel that the Joint 
Chiefs of 8taff should give prior approval to the operations envisaged 
by the license embodied in Department's telegram under reference, and 
that my views in the matter should be conveyed to the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff in connection with their consideration of the matter. 

Pending consideration by the Department of the points mentioned 
above, I intend to take no action on Department's telegram 752 under 

This telegram has been repeated to Lisbon and London. 


- 636 - 





This telegram must be 
paraphrased before being 
communicated to anyone 
other than a Government 

April 12, 1944 
9 p.m. 

agency, (SCOO) 

In an endeavor to cause the Spanish and Portuguese Governments 
to give refuge to additional refugee children from Prance, the follow¬ 
ing special instructions relating to the issuance of visas to refugee 
children are issued pursuant to Section 68.55 (a) (l6) of the Regula¬ 
tions of November 19, 1941 as amended regarding aliens entering the 
United States. 

Consular officers in Spain and Portugal are authorized to issue 
during the present quota year in the aggregate up to one thousand 
immigration visas to refugee children from Prance who shall have 
arrived in Spain and Portugal on or after January 1 , 1944 and before 
July 1 , 1944, This latter date may be extended by specific instruction 
from the Department. The visas are to be issued to the children without 
regard to the question of availability of means of transportation to the 
United States and without regard to religious, nationality or stateless 
status. The children covered by this instruction shall be under sixteen 
years of age at the time of the issuance of the visas, and are, of course, 
subject to the statutory immigration requirements of Section 3 of the 
Act of February 5, 1917, except that they may be considered to meet 
the public charge requirements in view of the fadt that the Attorney 
General has found that satisfactory arrangements have been made for 
their support. In connection with the determination of questions under 
Section 58.47 of the Regulations of November 19, 1941, as amended, 
regarding aliens entering the United States, the existence of the 
relationships described in Section 68.48 thereof shall not be consi¬ 
dered. Replace visas may be issued during the same quota year to 
those children who are still qualified therefor under this instruction 
and who are still under sixteen years of age at the date of the issuance 
of such replace visas. Subject to the quota laws it is the Department’s 
intention to assign numbers from next year’s quota to cover visas issued 
pursuant to this instruction under this year’s quota. The foregoing 
further assumes no pertinent adverse change in present quota laws. 

Cases of children who have passed their sixteenth birthday in the 
interim desiring to obtain new or replace visas should be reported 
tb the Department for further instructions. Children under 14 years 
of age need not be registered and fingerorinted. 

- 687 - 

The Unbaesy at Madrid will 'be the supervisory and control 
office for the assignment of quota numbers to offices in Spain 
and Portugal. Tor this purpose the following inclusive nonprefer¬ 
ence quota numbers are alloted to Madrid: 

L *27 to Qerman 


t o B elgian 

to N etherland 


_to_Cz echo Slovak and 

to T rench quotas 

Die visas may be issued at the rate of one-third of each allot¬ 
ment per month. Consolidated quota reports should be submitted 
by telegraph by Madrid at the end of each month returning any un¬ 
used numbers and giving name of child, quota number, date and 
place of issuance. If additional quota numbers of the countries 
mentioned or of any other country are desired, they should be re¬ 
quested by telegraph. Submit by telegraph before June 1st estimate 
of quota numbers needed for fiscal year 1944-1945. Inform consu¬ 
lar officers in Spain and Portugal. Advise the appropriate Span¬ 
ish and Portuguese authorities regarding this instruction and state 
that it is the earnest hope of this Government that the Spanish 
and Portuguese Governments will promptly take such action, direct 
and indirect as will facilitate and expedite the movement of chil¬ 
dren from France. You may also inform the Spanish and Portuguese 
Governments that the War Refugee Board will undertake to arrange 
for any financing that may be necessary to provide maintenance for 
refugees from enemy oppression arriving in Spain and Portugal. 

Report Spanish and Portuguese reaction and keep Department ad¬ 
vised regarding developments in this matter which may be of inter¬ 
est. Repeated to Legation at Lisbon. 



• Omitted. 

- 688 - 



Distribution of true 
reading only by special 
arrangement. (Secret V) 

Secretary of State, 


2110, July 8, 11 a.m., (Section One) 

This Message for Pehle from Mann 

During my visit to Spain the Embassy received your message should 
not undertake trip and suggested that I take up with the Ambassador 
problems which MacDonald was to have discussed. 

Among other things matter of boards sending special attache for 
refugee problems to Spain was discussed at length. Ambassador Hayes 
stated that he was not convinced that there was any necessity for 
such a representative since refugee matters there had been ably 
handled by the Embassy and Blickenetaff organisation. Furthermore, 
he mentioned that many agencies desired to have representatives in 
Spain and that in such cases he had to determine which should be 
represented on the basis of necessity and their contribution to the 
war effort since he could not approach Spanish for all who decided to 
come as attaches. It is clear to me that there is a necessity for 
a board representative and I gave the Ambassador my reason for the 
appointment of such a person. However, my reasons did not convince 
him and he stated that he wa 9 not prepared to agree that there was 
such a necessity. 

In our conversation I suggested Saxon as a possible representative 
but stated that I was not certain that he was available and that 
board might have other plans. I took the liberty of suggesting Saxon 
as an acting representative because (l) my observations indicated 
that he poesessed the operating qualities necessary to do the Job, 

(2) his experience in the field, (3) he is familiar with certain 
difficulties in North Africa which thus far have affected the 
Spanish evacuation program, (4) I considered it important that we 
have a representative in Spain immediately. Saxon is near and I 
could talk with him without necessitating too great delay in his 

^End of Section 0n©7 



DATED: July 6, 1944 
HEC'D: 2:06 p.a. 

- 689 - 


Distribution of true 
reading only be special 


DATED: July 8, 1944 
REC'D: 7:30 p.m. 

arrangement. (Secret W) 

Secretary of State 

2110, July 8, 11 a.m. (Section Two) 

After some discussion the Ambassador stated he could not agree 
to accrediting him to the Spanish Government but would welcome Saxon's 
coming to Spain to make a thorough study of the situation not to ** 'eed 
two months and if at that time Saxon could convince the Ambassadoi 
that a WHB representative in Spain could perform functions not being 
performed and that the performance of such served a useful purpose 
the Ambassador would ask to have him accredited to the Spanish Govern¬ 
ment as Attache of Embassy. If he did not convince the Ambassador 
he would leave at that time. While Saxon was mentioned it is my be¬ 
lief that the Ambassador would accept any qualified representative 
on the same conditions. 

My lack of knowledge of present board plans makes it difficult for 
me to comment fully on the above proposal. However, I do emphasise 
the importance of a board representative going to Spain soon if one is 
to go there. 

At present fewer refugees are entering Spain than at previous 
times. Some no doubt are waiting to see progress of invasion. French 
resistance is said to have cut rail communications with southernborder. 
Also rescue operations do not appear as active as might be expected. 

It seems likely that if invasion moves slowly and Germans increase 
persecutions as in Hungary the Pyrenees will erupt with refugees 
attempting to escape. The new problems with which we may be confront¬ 
ed there makes it imperative in my opinion that we have a representa¬ 
tive in the area. 

Pursuant to the practice the two Embassies, copy of this being 
sent Madrid. 

(End of Message) 



- 690 - 



Distribution of true 
reading only by special 


BATED: July 15, 1944 
BEC'D: 11: 57 p.m. 

arrangement* (Secret V) 

Secretary of State 

2479, July 15, 5 p.m. 

As consequence of Embassy*s representations Spanish Government 
has authorised issuance of visas to 500 Jewish children in Hungary 
whoa Jewish organisations in Tangier hope to transfer to temporary 
refuge in Spanish Morocco (Tangier* s 157, June 2 to Department and 
Embassy’s 2389, July 9). Spanish Legation Budapest has been instruct¬ 
ed to do everything possible to facilitate travel of this group to 
Spain and it is understood that Vatican has requested papal represent¬ 
atives in Berlin and Budapest to use their good offices to same end. 

Sent to Tangier in pouch. 


- 691 




pgsyiyTTH Madrid, Spain, July 26, 1944. 

Ho. 3790 

Subject: fransaittlng copy of Vote to Minister of foreign 

Affairs on subject of reported delivery of refugees by 
Spanish border officials to Oersan patrol. 

The Honorable 

The Secretary of State, 



1 have the honor to enclose a copy of Hote Ho. 2809 of July 24, 

1944 which Z hare addressed to the Minister of foreign Affaire con¬ 
cerning a series of frontier Incidents reported to hare taken place 
during the early part of June 1944 in the Province of Hue sea, in the 
course of which a number of refugees of french and other nationalities 
are reliably stated to have been refused entry into Spain and to have 
been handed over by Spanish frontier officials to German border patrols. 

A high official of the Ministry of foreign Affairs has informed 
a representative of the Smbassy, in this connection, that immediately 
upon receiptof information concerning these occurrences the Ministry 
issued drastic instructions countermanding the provincial order upon 
which the action of the frontier officials concerned appears to have 
been based, and that a careful Investigation of the circumstances 
surrounding the issuance and execution of those orders is now in 
progress. He expressed the personal opinion that the reported inci¬ 
dents may, in fact, have been the result of the misinterpretation by 
local border officials of orders Intended to apply to attempted incur¬ 
sions into Spain of armed Spanish dissidents, the presence of such 
groups on the frontier having been recently reported. (Smbassy*s 
telegram Ho. 2472, July 16, 1944, noon.) It was, of course, made 
clear to him that this circumstance, even if true, could in no way 
be considered as condoning or excusing the conduct of the border 
officials concerned. 

The incidents in question have been made the subject also of 
forceful representations on the part of the British Smbassy and the 
French Mission in Madrid, and it 1» the Smbassy 1 s opinion that the 
Spanish Government has been sufficiently impressed with the gravity 
of these Incidents to do everything possible to prevent their recur¬ 

- 692 - 

It may be mentioned that a cop/ of the Ministry's Hote Verbals 
Ho. 701 of November 17, 1943 to which reference is made in the 
enclosed Note was transmitted to the Department under coTer of the 
Xmbassy's despatch Ho. 1692 of December 7, 1943. 

Respectfully yours, 


Charge d'Affaires ad interim 


Hote Ho. 2809, July 24, 
1944, to foreign Minister 

- 693 - 

/Enclosure to despatch Ho. 2790, 

July 25 # 1944, from Madrid.*/ 

Ho. 2809 Madrid, July 24, 1944. 

Excellency x 

Although Tour Excellency has, I am certain, already been fully 
acquainted with the circumstances of the recent frontier incidents 
in the Province of Huesca, I cannot let these deplorable occurrences 
pass without conveying to Tour Excellency, on behalf of my Government 
as well as for myself, an expression of profound shock and deep re¬ 
gret that they should have been permitted to occur. 

According to information which has come to my attention, an order 
appears to have been issued on June 9, 1944 to frontier guards in that 
Province instructing them to turn back certain categories of refugees 
attempting to enter Spanish territory without proper documentation, 
with the consequence that a considerable number of refugees of French 
and other nationalities were, on and shortly after that date, refused 
entry into Spain and turned over to the custody of the German authori¬ 
ties from whom they were fleeing. 

According to this information, a group of approximately 23 persons, 
including a considerable percentage of women and children, arrived at 
the frontier town of Salient early in the morning of June 9, 1944, 
were temporarily detained by the Spanish border authorities at that 
point, and were several hours later given false directions to Canfranc 
which, id fact, took them back into German-held territory. They were 
prevented from falling into the hands of German patrols solely by 
their chance meeting with another group of refugees travelling in the 
opposite direction and, together with the latter group, returned to 
Salient where they arrived on the morning of the following day. It 
is reported that the 12 men included in this party were thereupon 
placed by the border authorities at Salient in a motor truck and 
driven back across the frontier into German-occupied territory to a 
depth of five kilometers where they, together with 26 other refugees 
who had had the misfortune to be encountered en route, were handed 
over to a German frontier patrol. It had been subsequently reported 
that these 38 persons were then taken in German custody to the con¬ 
centration camp of Oloron where a number of the women and children 
were released and the rest of the group sent on to the Fort du Ha at 
Bordeaux, a place of detention understood to be an habitual stopping 
point for such prisoners on the way to Germany. 

Other incidents of the same sort have been reported from other 
border points in Huesca Province, but in these instances there appear 

- 694 - 

to have arisen circumstances which led the Spanish border authorities 
to refrain from carrying out their expressed intention to return the 
refugees concerned to German custody. It is reported, for example, 
that a group of refugees arrived at Bielsa on June 11th, and that the 
order for their expulsion was rescinded by the border authorities only 
in the face of public indignation on the part of residents of. that 
village which arose following the attempt of one of the refugees con¬ 
cerned, a Netherlands subject, to save himself from such a fate by 
committing suicide. Frontier police at Somport, moreover, are under¬ 
stood to have endeavored on June 12th to send back to France & citizen 
of the United States and a stateless refugee, and to have been dis¬ 
suaded from such action only after prolonged argument on the part of 
the refugees concerned. 

Tour Excellency, who, I am confident, has been as shocked as 1 
at what has occurred, will not fail to recognize the grave Implications 
a£ these Incidents, which have amounted to open connivance on the part 
of Spanish border officials in the persecution and possible assassina¬ 
tion by the German authorities of innocent persons attempting to find 
on Spanish soil asylum from Nazi tyranny, and, in view of the reiter¬ 
ated assurances which the Embassy has in the past received from the 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, particularly in the latter's Note Verbale 
No. 701 of November 17, 1943, to the effect that no refugees would be 
delivered against their will to the German authorities or expelled 
from Spain except across the frontier of their own choice, I should 
be most appreciative of assurances from Tour Excellency which I could 
convey to ny Government that immediate and effective steps have been 
taken to ensure against a repetition of such incidents and to make 
certain that the above mentioned assurances of the Ministry will in 
the future be scrupulously and unfailingly respected by Spanish of¬ 
ficials at every level of authority. 

Tour Excellency will understand that the grave concern which ny 
Government is bound to feel in the face of the incidents cited herein 
springs not only from its determination that political and military 
refugees of all nationalities fleeing from the shadow of Nazi perse¬ 
cution shall not be denied the asylum to which the neutrality of 
Spanish territory entitles them, but also from its ever-present ap¬ 
prehension lest the denial of this right of asylum result in the 
delivery into enemy custody of citizens of the United States, an 
eventuality the effect of which on public opinion in the United States 
should not be underestimated. 

I avail myself of this opportunity to express to Tour Excellency 
the renewed assurances of my highest consideration. 

His Excellency (Signed) 

Lieutenant General Count Jordana, W. WALTON BUTTERWORTH 

Minister of Foreign Affairs. Charge d'Affaires ad interim 




FROM* Secretary of State, Washington 
TO: American Embassy,Madrid 

DATED: August 21, 1944 
NUMBER: 2324 


Refer Department's 2126 of July 28, paragraph marked 3. 

The authorization given to consular officers in Spain and Portugal 
by the Department's 1008 of April 12 is hereby amended to include 
authorization_t6_issue such visas to refugee children arriving in 
Switzerland /sis/* from Hungary. For issuance through October, the 
additional non-preference quota immigration numbers given below were 
alloted to Madrid: Hungarian 27 to 71 inclusive. 

Please advise appropriate Spanish and Portuguese officials and 
make all appropriate efforts to arrange for release to Spain and 
Portugal from Hungary of children who may be eligible for the issuance 
of such visas. 




•Spain and Portugal 

- 696 - 




CONFIDENTIAL Madrid, Spain, August 14, 1944. 

Io. 2905 

Subject: Transmitting copies of Embassy's Notes 

Terbales to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
requesting facilities for transit through 
Spain of Jewish refugees proceeding from 

The Honorable 

The Secretary of State, 

Washington, D.C. 


I have the honor to enclose copies of the Embassy's Notes Verbale* 
No. 2907 and No. 2908 of August 11, 1944, which have been addressed to 
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in accordance with instructions con¬ 
tained in the Department's telegrams no. 2126 of July 28, 1944, 10 p.m. 
and no. 2194 of August 7, 6 p.m. requesting respectively that the 
Spanish Government permit the entry into Spain of persons released 
from Hungary in pursuance of the recent decision of the Hungarian 
authorities to allow the departure from that country of Jewish persons 
in possession of entry permits entitling them to admission to any other 
country, and that, in particular, it permit the entry, in transit to 
further destinations outside of Spain, of such persons to whom Aiaerican 
immigration visas were issued on or after July 1, 1941 but who, by 
reason of transportation difficulties and the advent of war, have not 
been able to make effective use of such visas* 

The British Embassy in Madr!.* has not as yet received parallel 
instructions and has consequently been unable to concert with this 
Embassy in joint representations on this subject. 

Enclosures: # 

1/ Note Verbale No. 2907, 
August 11, 1944. 

2/ Note Verbale No. 2908, 
August 11, 1944. 

Respectfully yours, 



W. Walton Butterworth 
Charge d'Affaires interim 

- 697 - 

/Enclosure No. 1 to despatch No. 2905, 
August 14 f 1944 from SpainJ 

No. 2907 


The Embassy of the United States of America presents its compli¬ 
ments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has the honor to inform 
the latter that the United States Government has been informed, through 
neutral channels, that the Hungarian Government has author¬ 
ized the departure from Hungary of all Jewish persons in possession 
of entry permits entitling them to admission into any other country, 
including Palestine, and that the German Government is disposed to 
permit the transit of such persons through territories under its 

In order that full advantage may be taken of this decision on the 
part of the Hungarian Government and that no possible avenue of escape 
may be denied to these unfortunate persons, the Embassy has been in¬ 
structed by its Government, pursuant to the latter's urgent interest 
in the rescue of oppressed and persecuted minorities from German-con¬ 
trolled areas of Europe, to express the hope that the Spanish Govern¬ 
ment will convey to the appropriate Hungarian authorities at the 
earliest possible moment an expression of its willingness to receive 
on Spanish territory Jewish refugees proceeding from Hungary, at the 
same time instructing its representatives in Budapest accordingly, it 
being understood that every effort will be made by the United States 
Government, in cooperation with the British Government, to arrange 
the prompt onward transportation of such persons from Spain to havens 
of refuge in United Nations territory and to contribute to their main¬ 
tenance and support in whatever manner the Spanish Government may deem 
desiraole during the period of their stay on Spanish soil. 

The United States Government has taken grateful cognizance of the 
steps which the Spanish Government has already taken toward the rescue 
of Jewish refugees from Hungary and other German-controlled areas of 
Europe, and is confident that, motivated by the same high principles 
of humanity, that Government will continue to devote to this humani¬ 
tarian task its active support and willing cooperation. 

- 698 - 

/Enclosure Ho. 2 to despatch Ho. 2905, 

August 14, 1944, from Spaing 

Ho. 2908 


The Embassy of the United States of America presents It compli¬ 
ments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, with reference to its 
immediately preceding Note Verbals No. 2907 of this date requesting 
the cooperation of the Spanish Government in facilitating the entry 
into Spain, in transit to further destinations, of Jewish refugees 
released from Hungary pursuant to the decision of the appropriate 
Hungarian authorities to permit the departure from that country of all 
Jewish persons in possession of entry permits entitling them to ad¬ 
mission into any other country, has the honor to inform the Ministry 
that there are known to he among these refugees a considerdile number 
of persons to whom United States immigration visas were issued on or 
after July 1, 1941, the date upon which existing visa procedures took 
effect, but who, by reason of transportation difficulties and the 
advent of war, have been unable to make effective use of such visas* 

In the belief that the lives of many of these persons might be 
saved by reason of the issuance of newly-validated visas, consular 
officers of the United States in Spain and other neutral countries 
have been authorized, subject to certain specified conditions, to Ibsus 
to such persons upon personal application visas valid for immigration 
into the United States, and, in order that the latter may not be 
denied this opportunity of saving themselves from threatened perse¬ 
cution and possible death at the hands of Nasi authorities, the Em¬ 
bassy would request, on instruction s from its Government, that the 
Spanish Government consent to permit the entry into Spain without 
reference to customary visa requirements, of all such persons td whom 
United States immigration visas were issued on or after the date in 
question, and that it make known this consent to the appropriate 
German, Hungarian and other German-satellite authorities. 

On it8 part, the Embassy can give to the Ministry the assurances 
of its Government that any such persons so admitted into Spain will be 
adequately maintained while on Spanish soil and evacuated with the 
least possible delay* and that any who may be found not to be qual¬ 
ified for admission into the United States will .be removed from Spain 
as promptly as possible to other destinations to be arranged by the 
United States Government. 

Madrid, August 11, 1944 

- 699 - 




C0K7ITTCHTI1L Madrid, Spain, September 26, 1944. 

Ho. 3139 

Subject: Transmitting Copy and Translation of Hote Terbale from 
Ministry of 7orelgn Affair* Concerning Entry into Spain 
of Jewish Refugee* Proceeding from Hungary. 

The Honorable 

The Secretary of State, 



With reference to Embassy*s despatch Ho. 2905 of August 14, 1944 
transmitting to the Department copies of its Uotes Verbales Ho. 2907 
and Ho. 2908 of August 11, 1944 to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
requesting respectively that the Spanish Government permit the entry 
into Spain of persons released from Hungary in pursuance of the recent 
decision of the Hungarian authorities to a How the departure from that 
country of Jewish persons in possession of entry permits entitling 
them to admission to any other country, and that, in particular, it 
permit the entry, in transit to further destinations outside of Spain, 
of such persons to whom American immigration visas were issued on or 
after July 1, 1941 but who, by reason of transportation difficulties 
and the advent of war, have not been able to make effective use of 
such visas, I have the honor to enclose a copy and translation of the 
Ministry's note Verbals no. 689 of September 16, 1944 in reply, in 
which it is stated that the Spanish Minister in Budapest has been 
instructed to grant transit visas to such persons and to intercede 
with ths Hungarian and German authorities with a vie w towards facili¬ 
tating their departure from Hungary. An official of the Ministry has 
stated that, although the latter realizes the difficulty, if not 
the impossibility, of these persons' actually proceeding to Spain, it 
is aware that the issuance of these visas to them may serve as a means 
of protection and is willing to authorize the issuance of such visas 
on that basis. 

Although, as it will be noted, ths Ministry's note Verbale makes 
specific reference only to the Embassy's note Verbale so. 2908, the 
above-mentioned official has Informed the Embassy that it was in fact 
intended also to ref$r, and to be in reply, to the immediately pre¬ 
ceding note Verbale no. 2907. 

Enclosure: Respectfully yours. 

Copy and translation of 

foreign Office's note (Signed) 

Verbale no. 689, September CAHLTOn J.H. HAYES 

16, 1944 

- 700 - 

^Enclosure to despatch No. 3139,_ 
September 26, 1944, from Madrid^ 



Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
B-l.- 16- I 2 

Cite this reference in reply 
No. 689 


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs presents its compliments to the 
United States of America and with reference to its recent Note No. 
2908 of August 11 in which it requests the cooperation of the Spanish 
Government in facilitating the entry into Spain in transit for other 
countries of Jewish refugees proceeding from Hungary, has the honor 
to advise that the suitable orders have been issued the Minister of 
Spain in that country in order that he proceed to grant transit visas 
for all those passports held by the referred-to Jews which nay be 
presented for tne purposes named. Moreover, instructions have like¬ 
wise been given that he approach the Hungarian Government and the 
German occupation authorities with all interest towards facilitating 
the departure from Hungary of the cited persons. 

Therefore, this Ministry considers that in this way the Spanish 
Government exhausts all possible steps which it can take in order to 
arrive at a favorable solution of the mentioned problem in which it 
has demonstrated it is placing its greatest interest and will. 

Madrid, September 16, 1944. 

To the Embassy of the United States of America. 


- 701 - 



Distribution of true 
reading only by special 

August 24, 1944 

11 p.m. 

arrangement. (Secret W) 




The following WRB cable No. 81 is for Dexter from Pehle. 

In view of recent military developments in France the War Refugee 
Board feels that no further efforts should be made to rescue either 
children or adults from France through Spain. This matter has been 
discussed with Dr. Nahum Goldman who agreed and it is understood that 
the JDC is cabling its Lisbon office along the lines of the Board’s 
decision. You should advise those persons and organizations in 
Portugal interested in rescue operations of this decision of the Board 
and ask them to advise their associates in Spain. In the event that 
any of such persons or organizations are planning to continue such 
rescue work from France through Spain you should promptly advise me 
by cable. 

Since the above-mentioned rescue operations are ended insofar 
as the Board is concerned, I would appreciate your views concerning 
what, if ary, worthwhile projects consistent with the Executive 
Order creating the Board remain to be carried out in or from Portugal. 

With ref feregGg your WRD 154 (Embassy's No. 2309). Mann is 
going to England shortly where he will study problem and submit 
recommendations to the Board for its consideration regarding any 
action which it should take. 


- 702 - 





Madrid, Spain, January 8, 194£ 

Ho. 3619 

Subject: Transmitting Report on Evacuation of Stateless 
Refugees from Spain to North Africa. 

The Honorable 

The Secretary of State, 



I have the honor to enclose, as of possible Interest to the 
Department, a copy of a report on the evacuation of stateless refugee 
from Spain to Horth Africa which has been prepared by Mr. David 
Blickenstaff, director of the Representation In Spain of American 
Relief Organisations, for Mr. Ned Campbell, representative in Horth 
Africa of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration 
as a basis of discussion of plans for the possible evacuation of ad¬ 
ditional numbers of such refugees to Philipeville and other UNRRA 
camps in the Mediterranean area. 

Respectfully yours. 




Carlton J.H. Hayes 


Report, as stated 

- 703 - 

/Enclosure to despatch Ho. 3819, 

January 8, 1945, from Madrid.*/ 

Report to Hed Campbell. UNRRA. North Africa, from David Blickenstaff . 




After it had been decided in the Spring of 1943 to evacuate 
stateless and other unprotected refugees from Spain to the camp at 
Fedhala in North Africa, an arrangement was made dividing the res¬ 
ponsibility of this operation between the British and American Govern¬ 
ments through their embassies in Madrid. The American Government was 
to assemble and transport the refugees in Spain to the port of embark¬ 
ation, and the British Government was to provide transportation by 
sea to North Africa. 

In a meeting held on January 31, 1944, between representatives of 
the British and American Embassies, the Trench Diplomatic Mission, Mr. 
Beckelman (representing the UNRRA), and myself, it was decided that 
this office handle the applications made by refugees for admission to 
the camp, distribute these applications to the screening authorities, 
advise the refugees concerning the acceptance or rejection of their 
applications and negotiate with the Spanish authorities the release of 
the refugees from camp and their exit from Spain. The American Ambas¬ 
sador asked thiB office to also carry out for the American Embassy its 
functions of assembling and transporting to the port of embarkation the 
refugees accepted for entry into the camp. 

In this way, three groups of refugees left for the North African 
Refugee Center: 

May 4 - 36 refugees 

June 21- 573 refugees 
July 1 - 21 refugees 

Total 630 refugees 

Need of Outlet to North Africa 

In lqy opinion an outlet to North Africa for stateless and other 
unprotected refugees is still urgently necessary thou^i the numbers 
of refugees to whom such an opportunity is attractive has been greatly 
reduced by the three convoys to Fedhala and by expeditions to Palestine 
and Canada organized by this office during 1944. There nevertheless 
remain in Spain roughly one thousand refugees who receive financial 
assistance from American relief organzations. These are almost 

- 704 - 

entirely refugees who are either legally or practically stateless. 

For some of them solutions will perhaps be found when return to France 
and other parts of liberated Europe become possible. For others, 
however, return to pre-1939 places of residence is impossible and 
they will become a part of the "hard core" of the post-war stateless 
refugee problem. I assume that the UNRRA or the intergovernmental 
Committee is working on some solution to this more or less permanent 
problem and will make representations in this direction to the United 
Nations Governments when the plans for the post-war world are being 
drawn. It seems logical therefore that this group of refugees now 
in Spain should come as soon as possible under the authority and 
control of some such organization as the UNRRA. 

There are, furthermore, many cases where the transfer to an UNRRA 
camp is, for humanitarian reasons, urgently desirable. In this cate¬ 
gory are many stateless and unprotected foreigners some of them resi¬ 
dent for many years in Spain who, because of their participation on 
the Republican side during the Spanish civil war, are personae non 
grata with the present Spanish Government. Life for such persons 
in Spain is extremely difficult because of the impossibility to /sic7 
obtaining legal employment. Many of them are detained in work camps 
and prisons release from which being authorized only when immediate 
departure from Spain can be assured. The conditions of such intern¬ 
ment leave much to be desired and the future for such refugees must 
apoear completely hopeless. 

Number of Refugees to be Evacuated. 

Of the one thousand refugees remaining in Spain on the rolls of 
private American relief organizations it would be difficult to esti¬ 
mate the number that could be evacuated to an UNRRA camp. The follow¬ 
ing factors must be taken into consideration in making any estimate: 

1. - Refugees look upon evacuation to a camp as only a last 
alternative, something to be avoided if possible. The number of 
those willing to accept evacuation to a camp increases or decreases 
as the events of the war cause hopes of return to liberated Europe 
to rise and fall in the minds of the refugees. The policies that 
will be followed by the national authorities, especially French and 
Belgian, will of course determine to a large extent how many refugees 
will look to an UNRRA camp as a solution to their Droblem. The 
French authorities in Madrid have recently been accepting applications 
for French visas. This has raised the hopes of some refugees that 
they will soon be able to return to France where many of them had 
been living for some years before the beginning of the war in 1939. 

2. - The number of refugees who will apply for entry into an UNRRA 
camp is affected by the policy of the private relief organizations 

- 705 - 

now supporting them in Spain. Increasing needs elsewhere may cause 
these organizations to try to decrease their obligations in Spain. 

This will force some refugees to accept evacuation to a camp and will 
encourage others to do so by shaking the sense of security that they 
have developed during oheir stay in Spain with all expenses paid. If 
financial assistance were at present completely withdrawn, almost all 
the refugees now being assisted would be obliged to apply for evacua¬ 
tion to a camp. Till now none of the committees represented by this 
office has intimated that economic pressure should be used to oblige 
refugees to make such a decision. 

3-- Experience has shown that a rather high percentage cf applica¬ 
tions for admission to the camp in North Africa are rejected. The 
North African screening authorities have dealt with our application 
lists as follows: 

List Date No. of 

M* -applicant? 


Feb. 28 



Mar. 20 



Mar. 31 



Apr. 19 



May 2 



May 15 



June 16 



July 15 



July 25 



Aug. 22 



Oct. 5 

—25 . 




Nov. 2 




Nov. 4 




Nov. 15 








Nov. 16 





Number Number Percentage of 

















24 % 




60 % 

56 % 




977 363 

Report from screening authorities 
not yet received. 57 applications 

Thus, out of a total of 1,340 applicants, 977 or 73% were accepted. 

(Notes Discounting lists 1 and 2 of Feb. 28 and March 30, which 
represent the applications screened for the three convoys that have so 
far left for North Africa, the percentage of rejections on applications 
screened after the three departures comes to 45%l) 

Furthermore, during the preparation of the three convoys sent to 
Fedhaia, there were many refugees who withdrew after their applications 
had been accepted. These three convoys, totalling 630 refugees, repre¬ 
sented 960 applications of which 778 accepted. The 182 refugees who did 

- 706 - 

not leave though their applications were accepted, withdrew from the 
convoy for the following reasons: 


Release from camp or prison or exit visa refused 

by Spanish authorities.24% 

Emigrated to other countries, or evacuated 6y 
their diplomatic mission • • • •.• . • 23% 

Remained in Spain with family member unable to 
leave for North Africa for health reasons or 
lack of exit permit.16% 

Health and miscellaneous.22% 

Applications withdrawn - no explanation given . • • 15% 

At the present time the situation of applications, acceptances 
and rejections stands as follows: 

!•- Number of refugees now in Spain whose applica¬ 

tions are accepted •.. • . 322 

2.- Number of refugees now in Spain whose applica¬ 
tions are rejected.311 

3»- Number of refugees now in Spain whose applica¬ 
tions are pending with the N.A. screening 
authorities . . •.57 

4.- Estimated number of accepted applicants who 

would be immediately ready to leave for N.A. 150 

The Practical Problem 

In order that these 150 refugees, and succeeding groups of refugees, 
be evacuated to North Africa, it is necessary that some competent 
authority (the UNRRA) undertake to obtain two things: 

1. - That instructions be sent to the French authorities in 
Madrid for accepted applicants to be given documents that will 
permit them to disembark in North Africa. 

2. - That permission be obtained from the competent military 
authorities to accept small groups (3-5 persons) of accepted, 
properly doci^mented refugees on occasional ships leaving 
Gibraltar for North African ports; or that a ship be sent to 
some Spanish port especially to embark this first group of 150, 
and thereafter whenever a group of, say, fifty accepted appli¬ 
cants can be assembled. 

- 707 - 

We are prepared in this office tc handle for the UNhRA. the 
mechanics of preparing the refugees for evacuation, obtaining the 
necessary permits from the Spanish Government and arranging for trans 
portation to the port of embarkation. 

With regard to No. 2 above, I would very much prefer the first 
suggestion. It is much more useful to nave the possibility of 
evacuating, say, ten refugees every two or three weeks, than fifty 
refugees every three or four months. A great deal could be done for 
many refugees if we could intervene at the Spanish police on their 
behalf with the possibility of giving assurance of immediate evacua¬ 

There has been, in recent weeks, an increasing tendency on the 
part of the Spanish authorities to intern foreigners who are thought 
to be dangerous or unfriendly to the present regime ana to maintain 
in concentration camps refugees who snouid ordinarily have been re¬ 
leased upon our assumption of financial responsibility for them. 

For these refugees especially evacuation to an UNRBA camp is 
urgently desirable, for two reasons: 

1. - Internment in Spain is, at best, under conditions that are 
substandard, and in company with interned Spanish criminals and Nazi 
Gestapo and military personnel. 

2. - No progress toward finding an eventual solution to the cases 
of these internees can be made while they are in Spanish camps and 
prisons. Contrary to wnat tneir situation would be in an UNhhA camp, 
they are not, in Spain, the subjects of efforts on the part of the 
interning authorities, to find a solution to the "displaced persons 
problem". Internment in Spain is "time lost" - under conditions of 
moral and physical suffering. 

- 70S - 



FROM: The American Minister, Lisbon 

TO: The secretary of State, Washington 

DATE: May 6, 1944 

HUMBER: 1367 



Due to the fact that their maintenance here and their ultimate 
transportation to Palestine, the United States or some other des¬ 
tination are guaranteed by the Embassy, today the Portuguese Foreign 
Office agreed to accept three hundred children at a time without 
passports. By mail the details are being sent. For the present 
the number seems adequate. From the war Kefugee Board funds here 
I have agreed to pay a part of the costs of the Jewish Congress re¬ 
ception center. Except that nothing should be said concerning the 
clandestine nature of the childrens* coming or from whence they come, 
there is no reason why this generous act of Portugal should not be 
given publicity. Others will be coming soon but at present there 
ire only twelve here all of whom are Jewish congress children. 


Upon Spain the ultimate efforts of success now depend. 


- 709 - 




FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: Auerloan Legation, Lisbon 

DATED: Hay 8, 1944 

NUMBER: 1289 


Reference your Hoe. 11, 12 and 15 of Hay 1 (Embassy's 1307, 1308 
and 1317). 

It appears that all of the foregoing cables may have been sent by 
you before you received our Ho. 8 (Department's 1229 of May 1). 

As stated in that cable (WHB No. 8), Board is deeply disturbed over 
possibility that friction among private agencies operating in Portugal 
will Interfere with the actual rescue of children from France. Board 
is relying on you to use your powers as WHB representative to prevent 
competitive duplication in this important rescue program. Our main 
goal is the saving of lives and nothing must prevent the attainment 
of this end. 

Board appreciates having Weissman's views on this program. 

However, Board requests you send at once the views of Dr. Schwarts 
of the JDC, together with your own conclusions and recommendations. 

As we stated in our Ho. 8 of Hay 1, the question of where to send 
the children who are actually rescued should be determined after they 
have been saved. The decision should be made on an individual case 
basis. In this connection it should be borne in mind that 1000 U.S. 
visas are presently available for these children in Spain and Portugal. 
Canadian visas are also available in addition to the Palestine certi¬ 

With respect to financing these rescue programs, the Board has 
publicly taken the position that it will rely on established private 
organizations for the necessary funds unless such private sources 
are inadequate. As you know the JDC is presently licensed to carry 
on a rescue program from Portugal and has substantial funds available 
for these operations. In addition, the World Jewish Congress has ap¬ 
plied for a similar license, the issuance of which the Board has 
recommended. As long as adequate funds are available from private 
sources. Board is not (repeat not) prepared to mxthorise use of Board's 
funds either for rescue of these children or their maintenance after 

Please advise all Interested persons of foregoing. 

This is War Refugee Board Cable to Lisbon No. 16. 


- 710 - 



CM - 278 

This telegram must be 
paraphrased before being 
communicated to anyone 
other than a Government 
agency. (SCOO) 

Secretary of State 
1168, April 19, H p.m. (Section One) 

WKB number one 

Special instructions regarding granting of visas to refugee 
children noted. Instructions have been sent to consular offices under 
this Legation. In view of difficulties in getting children out it is 
doubtful if any large number will be available before July 1, 1944* 
Departments 1017 April 12. 

Legation has advised Portuguese Government of arrangements made 
and has requested it to grant necessary transit visas and hospitality; 
also that arrangements for financing children in Portugal will be 
undertaken by War Refugee Board. Will advise later reactions. 

We are in contact with Isaac Weissman regarding plans for recep¬ 
tion centers. See Departments telegram 1Q4&, April 15* Extensive 
plans not necessary now but may be later. Will keep you advised of 
developments. Think reception will not present great difficulties. 

Isaac Weissman, representative of World Jewish Congress, is at¬ 
tempting to bring 6000 hidden children clandestinely out of France 
through Spain to Portugal, and 3000 others who are registered in France; 
the latter, if possible, through legal channels. He must have War Refu¬ 
gee Board*s cooperation, both financial, and practical, otnerwise pro¬ 
mising plans may fail. Advise giving him all cooperation possible. 

/End of Section 0ne7 


DATED: April 19, 1944 
REC*D: 6:18 p.m. 

- 711 - 

HFG - 434 

This telegram must be 
paraphrased before being 


Dated April 19, 1944 
Hec'd 1:20 a.m. 20th 

communicated to anyone 
other than a Governmental 
agency (SCOO) 

Secretary of State 

1168, April 19, 5 p.m* (Section Two) 

Weissman has an organization but lacks sufficient funds to finance 
project. He estimates cost per child to be $335 each, delivered in 
Portugal. On basis of 300 children per month this would involve a 
monthly appropriation of $100,000. Is War Refugee Board prepared to 
guarantee this? If all were gotten out this would involve $3,000,000; 
however we doubt any such number • Considerable funds must be available 
immediately as first small group are expected through within few days. 
Request immediate authorization to expend up to 100,000 on this project. 
Cable reply soonest. 

It is intention of World Jewish Congress to send majority to 
Palestine. For that country visas are immediately available here 
with preference to children. This presents a problem as there will 
be a conflict between Zionist and non-Zionist Jewish organizations re¬ 
garding ultimate destination of children. From here it seems easier 
and less expensive to send children to Palestine than to United States. 
Would suggest original plans be carried through unless strong objection 
your part. We need clear directive from Department and WRB on this 
point. Cable advice. 

Any publicity regarding clandestine evacuation from France would 
endanger success. Publicity any project must be carefully scrutinized 
and Legation should be consulted in advance. Although reasons for 
publicity a minimum thereof will ensure most effective work. 


- 712 - 



FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: Amlegation, Lisbon 

BATED: May 1 , 1944 

NUMBER: 1229 


Cable to Norweb, Lisbon, for Dexter 

Reference your no. 1168, April 19, and no. 1183, April 20. 
Following message Is for Dexter from Pehlei 

■In connection with proposals of Welssaan concerning rescue of 
hidden children from France through Spain to Portugal, you are request¬ 
ed Immediately to contact Dr. Joseph Schwarts of the American Jewish 
Joint Distribution Committee who, as you know, Is extremely competent 
and experienced In this field. Tou should take advantage of his know¬ 
ledge and background In this particular program. Schwarts Is already 
operating such a rescue program under appropriate Treasury license, 
text of which was cabled to Ambassador Norweb, permitting the neces¬ 
sary communication with persons in enemy territory as well as the 
necessary financial transactions. It should be noted that aside from 
its wide experience In this type of operation and adequate personnel 
the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee has substantial 
funds available and has shown Its willingness to cooperate wholeheart¬ 
edly on all our rescue programs. 

"It is appreciated that the problem of working with the various 
private organisations in Portugal cannot be resolved from this end. 
While it is, of course, our policy to work in harmony with all organ¬ 
izations, the Board feels that the program to rescue children from 
France would be greatly endangered if two organizations without 
coordination through you should be trying to rescue the same children 
with the possibility that fewer lives are saved. Since our main goal 
is to rescue the maximum number of children in the shortest possible 
time, we feel you should use your best Judgment in utilizing all agen¬ 
cies in those ways that will best achieve our aim. 

"The problem of where to send the children who are actually 
rescued should, of course, be determined after they have been saved 
and depends upon existing facilities at that time." 

This is WRB cable to Lisbon No. 8. 


- 713 - 






At a meeting In the American Embassy attended by Mr. Dobkin, repre¬ 
senting the Jewish Agency for Palestine; Mr. Pilpel, representing the 
Joint Distribution Committee; and Mr. Weissman, representing the 
World Jewish Congress* with Mr. Mann and Dr. Dexter of the War Refugee 
Board present as intermsdiarias and observers, it was agreed by the 
interested parties that, in order to work more effectively for the 
rescue from enemy territory of those persons who are in imminent dan¬ 
ger of denth as a result of Nasi persecutions and oppressions because 
of their race, religion or political beliefs, there should be a co¬ 
operation and collaboration among the interested parties along the 
following lines: 

1) There shall be created in Spain a Rescue Committee which 
shall have as its sole purpose the rescue of as many as possible of 
the above-described persecuted persons who are in imminent danger of 
death. Such Committee shall be composed of: 

a) Mr. Jules Jeffroykin, named by the Joint Distribution 

b) Mr. Joseph Croustillon, named by the World Jewish 
Congress; and 

c) Mr. David Sealtiel, named by the Jewish Agency for 

2 ) The Rescue Committee shall remain anonymous and no publicity 
whatsoever shall be given to it f its efforts, its members or the prin¬ 
cipals represented in connection with the work of such Committee. 

Such Committee shall act on behalf of all principals and there shall 
be a free and frank exchange of information and complete cooperation 
in all rescue work. The principals represented on such Committee 
shall conduct all rescue operations through it. It shall be the duty 
of the Rescue Committee to see that the principals in Portugal are 
informed of all operations of the Committee in Spain. Such information 
may be transmitted through such channels as the Rescue Committee may 
decide and such may be done by advising one of the principals in 
Portugal, who in turn will advise the others. However, the greatest 
care shall be taken to keep secret the work of such Committee and no 
reports of its activities shall be made to the United States except 
through the facilities of the War Refugee Board, which of course will 
see that the interested parties are advised. 

3) All persons entering Spain as a result of the efforts of such 
Committee shall be turned over to the representatives in Spain of the 

- 714 - 

Joint Distribution Committee, who shall care for such persons in the 
same manner as they have cared for them in the past except that all 
children (persons under the age of 16) shall be sent to Portugal, 
where they will be turned over at the Spanish-Portuguese border to 
a person of Portuguese nationality designated by the Youth Alyah 
Committee of Portugal. 

4) The Youth Alyah Committee of Portugal for the present shall 
be composed of: 

a) Mr. Lichtenstein 

b) Mr. Pllpel 

c) Mr. Wel8sman 

all of whom shall serve on the Youth Alyah Committee as Individuals 
and not as representatives of organisations with which they are affil¬ 
iated. The Committee may name additional persons, not to exceed two, 
to membership on the Committee* Such Committee shall report to the 
head offices of Youth Alyah in Jerusalem, which are headed by Miss 
Henrietta Ssold and the Committee shall govern itself by majority 

5) The Youth Alyah Committee shall approve the budget submitted 
by the Jewish Community of Portugal (Communidade) of the money to be 
expended for the care and welfare of all children. The Youth Alyah 
Committee shall determine the destination, training and education of 
the children. The Communidade shall be charged with the technical an 
financial operations connected with the care and maintenance of the 
children; however, employees used in all operations for the care and 
maintenance of the children shall be mutually agreed upon by the 
Communidade and the Youth Alyah Committee. 

6) All relations with the foreign Governments or organizations 
regarding reimbursement for child care shall be exclusively conducted 
by the Committee or persons or organizations delegated by it. 

The subject memorandum is accepted as the agreement between the 
interested parties. 

- 715 - 

The original of the subject memorandum shall be kept by Dr. 
Dexter, Representative of the War Refugee Board in Portugal* Initial- 
led copies of such memorandum shall be given to each of the parti** 
present at the discussion vhich gave rise to this agreement of co¬ 
operation and collaboration, and to Mr. Hart of the British Embassy, 
who in his capaoity as an observer for that Embassy has seen and 
approved this agreement. 












Lisbon, July 13, 1944 

- 716 - 




Distribution of true 
reading only by special 


DATED: September 14, 1944 
REC'D: 10:52 p.m. 

arrangement* (Secret W) 

Secretary of State 

2864, September 14, 11 a.m* 

WRB 188 

Portuguese Foreign Office, while sympathetic humanitarian aims 
expressed Embassy # s notes 498, August 17 and 515, August 31, feels it 
impossible to admit refugees falling in classifications outlined De¬ 
partment^ telegrams 2118, July 28 and 2332, August 24 without more 
effective guarantees from United States that all of these pepple, 
whether given US visas or not, will be speedily removed from Portugal 
by US if admitted. Ministry and government fear end of war and con¬ 
sequent decline US interest. Specifically object to statement that 
recipients of US visas after July 1, 1941 will only be admitted to 
the US subject to US immigration law and other limitations. Also 
object to indefiniteness of statement that US will evacuate those not 
given US visas as soon as possible. Desire US guarantee definite time 
limit on stay in Portugal for all coming under classifications DEPTEL 
2118 and 2332. Also statement regarding specific country which has in 
advance accepted those unable secure US visas, and guarantee transport 
for evacuation of all visa and non-visa within comparatively short 
period. If above requirements impossible to meet, and they seem very 
formidable, doubt if Portugal will take affirmative action above notes. 
Embassy is asked for definite written guarantee along above lines. 


- 717 - 



Distribution of true 
reading only by special 

October 3 f 1944 
8 p.m. 

arrangement. (Secret V) 




The cable below is WEB 101. 

Please refer to your Ho. 2875 of September 14 (WHB 189). 

As you were advised in Department's Ho. 2118 of July 28 and 
2332 of August 24, this Government has guaranteed that it will arrange 
for the maintenance in Portugal and the removal to the United States 
or to other areas outside Portugal of all refugees who are admitted 
to Portugal in accordance with the terms of those cables. It is the 
firm intention of this Government to cosily fully with the terms of 
this guarantee, should the necessity arise. Until the number of such 
refugees and other similar facts are known, it is neither possible 
nor desirable to determine exactly where they will be taken. You may 
assume that all available havens, including Pedhala, will be used to 
fulfill this Government's guarantee. 


- 713 ^ 




Distribution of 

Juno 24 , 1944 
4 p.m • 

true reading only by 
special arrangement (Secret W) 




The following forming WRB cable 39 is for Norweb Dexter and 


The problem of certain Spanish loyalist and other refugees hid¬ 
ing in Portugal who desire to go to Mexico is familiar to you. In¬ 
formation has been received by the Board that the Mexican Government 
has approved the issuance of 300 residence visas for refugees of 
class described and has authorized the Mexican Minister in Lisbon 
to grant these visas to such of the described persons as he may 
desire. Presumably such visas will be issued following discussion 
between the Mexican Minister and Dexter and it is thought the Minis¬ 
ter will rely largely upon Dexter to contact the proper persons. 

The Mexican Minister should be consulted to determine whether such 
instructions have been received. The result of inquiries on this 
point should be reported. 

The expediting of the voyage of these refugees found qualified 
to Mexico is desired and accordingly the speeding of granting of 
transit visas has been agreed upon between the Department, the War 
Refugee Board and Unitarian Service Committee. The manner in which 
this may best be accomplished bearing in mind the danger to the 
applicants should they be apprehended before they have been granted 
both Mexican residence and United States transit visas should there¬ 
fore be reported promptly. Please outline in detail your report of 
the procedure you expect to follow in order to procure visas in the 
earliest possible time for these people. Many if not all of the 
persons to whom Mexican visas will be issued will not (repeat not) 
it is thought have passports or other proper traveling documents. 

The transit visas will be placed upon consular forms 257 in conjunc¬ 
tion with any document they may have including any furnished by the 
Mexican authorities. If it is impracticable for applicants to fur¬ 
nish photographs consult consular section of Legation regarding 
waiver of photograph requirement subject to furnishing fingerprints 
and submission of photograph after issuance of transit certificates. 
It is assumed regarding fingerprint requirements print will be taken 
at time applicants come out of hiding to receive their transit 
certificates from American consular officers. However, some sort 
of medical certificate will be required. Procurement with the least 
possible inconvenience and danger of apprehension for the applicants 

- 719 - 

is desired. Dexter possibly may be able to arrange for applicants 
to obtain a certificate that they have no contagious disease and 
this will suffice for visa purposes. 

It is contemplated that as soon as possible Dexter will pro¬ 
cure and transmit through Legation or Consul the name, date and 
place of birth of each person who will receive a Mexican visa, to¬ 
gether with information as to whether such person is or has been a 
Communist, and any other available relevant information which the 
Legation may suggest. These names will be checked by tne Department 
of State which will instruct the Consul to issue visas unless ob¬ 
jection to a specifically named person is perceived. A check of 
such names and advice of the action taken will occur as promptly as 
possible. Names will be cleared within one week after receipt, it 
is expected. The matter will be taken up with appropriate officials 
of this Government, in order to consider the exercise of existing 
authority to admit such persons temporarily, in any case involving 
Communist affiliation. After receipt of such instructions by the 
American consul it would then be possible for the applicant to come 
out of hiding and receive his papers in one visit respectively to 
the Mexican officials and the American Consul. Provided you are 
certain in all cases that the International Police would permit 
passage from Portugal to tne United States en route to Mexico he 
could then reveal himself to the International Police. It appears 
essential that j>lans be made so that both visas may be obtained ex¬ 
peditiously and that only one visit be made to tne American Consulate, 
in view of danger of apprehension to tne applicants. A full expres¬ 
sion of your views in this matter should be given for benefit of 
Department and Board. 

From the Department for Norweb. 

In the event it is not feasible to obtain photographs, this 
requirement will be waived or photographs will be submitted after 
issuance of transit certiiicates. 



- 720 - 



Distribution of true 
reading only by special 
arrangement. (Secret-W) 

Secretary of State 
We shington 

2C09, June 28, 1 p.m* 

(WEB 39) This is WRB 85- 

Mexican Legation has not (repeat not) received instructions 
grant 500 residence visas referred to in Departments telegram 1819. 
Mexican Legation already preparing lists but can do nothing further 
until authorization received. Preparatory work along lines indicated 
Department’s 1819 and 1820 already begun. General suggestions re¬ 
garding procedure being followed \ detailed plans will be telegraphed 
as they develop. 


DATED: June 28, 1944 
REC'D: 11:59 p.m. 


- 721 - 




Distribution of 

July 17, 1944 
7 p.m. 

true reading only 
by special arrangement 
(Secret Vf) 

VKar Refugee Board 




The following WFB cable 57 is for Dexter. 

Please refer to your 2009 of June 28 concerning failure ot 
Mexican Legation in Lisbon to receive instructions concerning the 
500 residence visas. 

The Board has been advised that General Candido Aguilar, the 
new Mexican Minister to Portugal who is expected to arrive in 
Lisbon the end of this month, has full authority to grant the 500 
residence visas to persons whom he approves. Please confirm this 
with General Aguilar as soon as possible after his arrival and make 
no comment about it until such confirmation. 




- 722 - 




Lisbon, October 16, 1944 

No. 1071 


Subject: Care for Refugees now in Portugal 

The Honorable 

The Secretary of State 



I have the honor to invite the attention of the Department to a 
matter which has been giving the Embassy a great deal of concern of 
late, due to the decision of the War Refugee Board to withdraw its 
representative from Portugal, on or about December 1. The matter con¬ 
cerns plans for refugees still in Portugal who will presumably not be 
able to leave the country for some time unless some definite action 
is taken by the authorities of the United Nations. 

It is not possible to fix absolutely the number of such refugees 
but at the present moment there are approximately 700 from various 
European countries in Portugal who are receiving assistance from the 
four American private agencies here, the American Friends Service Com¬ 
mittee, the Joint Distribution Committee, the Unitarian Service Com¬ 
mittee and the Refugee Relief Section of the National Catholic Welfare 
Council. In addition there are some hundreds of Spanish Republican 
Refugees. There ia also a small number of refugees who are receiving 
aid from their Consulates, particularly i^utch, Belgians, French and 
Poles, but these need not concern us at the moment. In addition there 
is a certain nuntoer of refugees who still have funds of their own who 
are supporting themselves in Portugal. These also do not present ary 
special problems. I should add that of the seven hundred of refugees 
above mentioned, most of whom are stateless, approximately five hun¬ 
dred are Jewish. 

While there is no legal obligation, either on the part of the 
United States Government or governments of any of the other United 
Nations in respect to these people, there is a possible moral obliga¬ 
tion. Many of them were admitted to Portugal either at the direct 
request of the American organizations mentioned or in some cases 
through the intervention of the War Refugee Board. It was the under¬ 
standing of the Portuguese Government in most cases that thqy would 
ultimately be evacuated from this country. Portugal, as the Depart¬ 
ment realizes, has always considered itself a country of transit and 

- 723 - 

not a country of final destination for refugees. It should also be 
made clear that none of these refugees is permitted to work in 
Portugal and consequently, for the most part, thqy are being supported 
by private funds which come from the United States. Further, the 
fact that they cannot work and support themselves has resulted in a 
great deal of moral deterioration. Some of them have definitely taken 
the position, almost inevitable under the circumstances, that they 
should be cared for. 

A further problem which is very disturbing concerns what is going 
to happen to these individuals at the end of the war. Some of them 
ultimately may be returned to the country of their origin and others 
may conceivably secure visas for other lands. However, this will only 
be done after very considerable effort on the part of the organizations 
which are now taking care of them, and it is the feeling of the organ¬ 
izations that if they remain here, the chances of their leaving are 
very small. Another complicating factor in this connection is that 
most of the organizations, which for obvious reasons have maintained 
their European headquarters ih Portugal since 1940, will sooner or 
later be moving their personnel to other areas where there are greater 
needs, and this will leave this particular group of refugees without 
anyone to look after tneir interests. This would not only be unfor¬ 
tunate for the refugees themselves but the Embassy feels that it might 
present a problem in ^merican-Portuguese relations as the Portuguese 
might feel that American interests were responsible for bringing these 
people here and that we have left them holding the bag. A sad aspect 
of the situation is that these are the refugees who for one reason or 
another would find it the most difficult to move unless there were con¬ 
siderable pressure behind them. 

In view of these facts, the Embassy has not only given considerable 
thought to what might be done to these unfortunate people but has also 
consulted the various private agencies involved. It has occurred to 
the Embassy that if the camp at Fedhala is to be maintained for some time, 
one solution would be to send as many of these people as possible, ex¬ 
cluding those who have possibilities for visas elsewhere or who can 
perhaps shortly return to tneir native lands, to Fedhala. There are 
several obvious advantages to such a plan: 

1. T ^ere is no question but that the refugees will be far better 
cared for in the camp at Fedhala than they are here in Portugal at 
present, and they would be provided with a certain amount of occupation. 

If they were able to work and opportunities were available, they could 
possibly be given remunerative employment. In addition, there are in 
the camp excellent schools for children which are entirely missing here 
in Portugal and there is good medical and social care. 

2. They would have a far better chance of being returned to their 
homelands or sent elsewhere from Fedhala than they would have here in 

- 724 - 

Portugal. At the end of the war or even sooner, the refugees here 
would be forgotten. There would be no particular foreign pressure 
for their care or plans made for their ultimate destination. If they 
were in Fedhala, obviously the camp would sooner or later be liquidated 
and careful plans could be made for each individual. 

3. This plan would obviously be looked on with favor by the 
Portuguese authorities and it would inevitably result in a willingness 
on the part of the Portuguese to grant Portuguese transit visas for 
other refugees still in occupied territory. It seems true that not 
many of them would ultimately reach Portugal but the fact that the 
Portuguese granted visas might save the lives of many in occupied ter¬ 
ritories even if they never came to Portugal. 

Of course, this suggestion is being made only tentatively by the 
Embassy as it has no definite information as to the plans for Fedhala. 

At the same time, the Embassy understands that both the British and 
the American Governments have decided for the time being not to 
liquidate the camp and it seems that the suggestion, if it were pos¬ 
sible to carry it out, would accomplish several results. First, it 
would sweeten American-Portuguese relations; second, it would fulfill 
whatever moral obligations the United States and the United Nations 
have toward these unfortunate people; and third, it would give them 
far better care for the present and infinitely better prospects for 
the future. 

The Embassy should add that reports which it has had regarding 
Fedhala are excellent. The people there are well cared for and every¬ 
thing possible is being done to set them on their feet. It is impos¬ 
sible to do anything here except simply provide for their maintenance. 

There would, of course, be certain difficulties in the way. Some 
of the refugees who are thoroughly demoralized would not be willing to 
go voluntarily to a place where they had to work. Others would object 
to going to a camp. Incidentally, tne name might be changed to re¬ 
ception center or something of this sort which would meet that objection. 
Still others would feel that they had an immediate chance to go back to 
their homeland when such chance was by no means immediate. All of 
these problems would have to be met here but the Embassy believes that 
it would have the cooperation of the private agencies and that it it¬ 
self could do a good deal in the way of persuasion. 

In view of the fact that the Representative of the War Refugee 
Board is scheduled for withdrawal December 1, and since the major part 
of the work, if the plan were approved by the authorities concerned, 
would fall upon him so far as it is an Embassy responsibility, it is 
hoped that the Embassy may have the comments of the Department and the 
War hefugee Board and, if possible, a definite decision at cm early 

- 725 - 

It is assumed that the War Refugee ^oard will be interested in 
this despatch, and if the Department preceives no objection, it is 
hoped that it will be transmitted to the Board. 

Respectfully yours. 

For the ambassador: 



Edward S. Crocker 
Counselor of Embassy 



- 726 - 








November 10, 1944 

My dear Mr. Ambassador: 

Reference is made to the letter dated October 16, 1944 from 
Mr. Edward S. Crocker, Counselor of the Embassy, to the Secretary 
of State, requesting the Welt Refugee Board f s comment upon the 
Embassy 1 s suggestion that those among the 700 refugees from various 
European countries now in Portugal, not having immediate migratory 
possibilities, be evacuated to Camp Lyautey at Fedhala. 

It is the War Refugee Board's understanding that very few of 
the refugees referred to in Mr. Crocker's letter were admitted to 
Portugal at the request qt the Board. It is understood further that 
the few refugees so admitted at the request of the Board are presently 
being cared for by the Joint Distribution Committee which has likewise 
charged itself with the responsibility for their ultimate evacuation 
from Portugal. 

Upon receipt of the above letter, the Joint Distribution Committee 
was informally queried concerning its future plans with regard to 
these and the other refugees now under its care in Portugal. We have 
been advised that regardless of any transfer of its European head¬ 
quarters the Joint Distribution Committee has no intention of with¬ 
drawing its support from the 400 to 500 refugees new under its care in 

In view of the above and in view also of the fact that the Portu¬ 
guese Government is not pressing for the evacuation of these refugees, 
it would seem premature at the present time to recommend their trans¬ 
fer to Camp lyautey. 

A copy of this letter is being forwarded to the Secretary of State. 

Very truly yours, 



J. W. Pehle 

Executive Director 

Honorable R. Henry Narweb, 

United States Ambassador, 

Embassy of the United States of America, 

Lisbon, Portugal. 

- 727 - 




FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: Amlegation, Bern 

DATED: March 27, 1944 

NUMBER: 1023 


From War Refugee Board to Harrison. 

Please deliver the following message to the International 
Red Cross, Geneva, from War Refugee Board. 

"In view of German occupation of Hungary, War 
Refugee Board urges that Intercross send effective 
representation to Hungary in order to protect the 
well being of groups facing persecution." 


- 723 - 



FRCMi The American Embassy, Ankara 

TO 2 The Secretary of State, Washington 

DATE: April 4, 1944 

NUMBER: 596 


As Ankara’s number 22 the following message is from 
the Ambassador and Hirschman for the War Refugee Board, 

Simond of the International Red Cross has had a talk 
with the German Ambassador at our suggestion. This morning 
Simond informs us that von Papen agreed in the course of 
their talk (1) to urgently recommend to the Government of 
Germany that the SS TARI be given safe conduct and (2) that 
in its treatment of the Jews in Hungary the German Govern¬ 
ment exercise restraint. 

Von Papen»s sincerity impressed Simond who believes 
he (von Papen) will make these recommendations to the 
German Government but is, of course, uncertain regarding 
the German Government’s reception of them. 






- 729 - 



FROM: Amembassy, Ankara 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: May 2, 1944 

NUMBER: 794 


The Ambassador sends the following for WRB'S attention. 

Today, when I invited the attention of the Assistant 
Secretary General of the Foreign Office to the fact that no 
Jewish refugees have arrived from Hungary of late and asked 
whether the Turk Consul in Budapest might be withholding the 
granting of Turk visas for any reason in spite of the assurance 
I received from the Foreign Minister that the granting of the 
visas would be facilitated, I was informed by Erkin that the 
Turk Consul at Budapest had sent the Foreign Office word that 
every Jew entering the Turk Consulate in Budapest was arrested 
as soon as he left and transported to an unknown place. 

The foregoing is WRB'S 50 from Ankara. 



- 730 - 




/ROM: American Embassy, Ankara 
TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: June 5. 1944 
NUMBER: 1010 


Ambassador sends the following for WRB. 

Referring to message Number 69 from Ankara and Department*• 
telegram of June 2, Number 499, it is my opinion that any approach 
to the Hungarian Minister and his staff here would be of no use 
whatever, since their pro-Nasi attitude is notorious, as the Depart¬ 
ment knows. 

In connection with the last paragraph of cable referred to, it 
is thought that the Turkish agreement to an "arrangement** involving 
violation of their own laws by allowing refugees or any other indivi¬ 
duals to enter Turkey without Turkish visas is an extremely remote 
possibility. Separate representations concerning each group or 
individual, upon arrival have been presented in obtaining permission 
for Jewish refugees to enter and pass through Turkey without Turkish 
visas, and this fact should be borne in mind in this connection. I 
believe, when appropriate representations are made in each case, the 
Jewish refugees entering Turkey from Bulgaria will be treated with the 
same kindness as have those coming from Greece. 


- 731 - 




FROM: Secretaiy of State, Washington 

TO: American Legation, Bern 

DATED; May 23, 1944 
NUMBER: 1786 


For Minister Harrison and McClelland, Bern, Switzerland. 

This Government gravely concerned by reports of measures looking 
to mass-extermination of Jews in Hungary. 

Please request Swiss authorities to* obtain as speedily as pos¬ 
sible detailed information from Swiss mission in Budapest concerning 
treatment of Jews in Hungary and to inform you of results of inquiry. 
Advise Department of results without delay. 

This is WRB Bern Cable No. 24- 


- 732 - 








Secretary of State* Washington 
American Legation, Bern 
May 25, 1944 


Attention of McClelland and Minister Harrison. 

Please represent to the Swiss Government that, according to 
persistent and seemingly authentic reports, systematic mass-extermi¬ 
nation of Jews in Hungary has Begun. The lives of 800,000 human 
Beings in Hungary may well depend on the restraint that may result 
from the presence in that country of the largest possible number 
of foreign observers. To this end, please urge appropriate authori¬ 
ties in the interest of most elementary humanity to take Immediate 
steps to increase to the largest possible extent the numbers of 
Swiss diplomatic and consular personnel in Hungary and to distribute 
them as widely as possible throughout the country. 

It is hoped, of course, that all such diplomatic and consular 
representatives will use all means available to them to persuade indi¬ 
viduals and officials to desist from further barbarisms. 

Please inform Department forthwith of extent to which Swiss 
Government is cooperating in this matter. 

This is WRB Bern Cable No. 26. 


- 733 - 



DMH-502 Stockholm 

Distribution of true reading DATKD June 21, 1944 

only by special arrangement REC’D 2*50 p.m. 

(Secret W) 

Secretary of State 
U. S. Urgent 
2231, June 21, 1 p.m. 

Please repeat to War Refugee Board as Legation’s number 31. 

1ft-. Boheman has informed me that Mr. Raoul Wallenberg will 
be appointed an Attache to the Swedish Legation at Budapest for 
the specific purpose of following and reporting on situation 
with respect to persecution of Jews and minorities. It is like¬ 
wise intention of Foreign Office to secure if possible an 
appointment as representative of other Swedish Red Cross for 
Professor Maltet, a Swede who is now teaching in University of 
Budapest. Professor Maltet will not be connected with Swedish 
legation but will cooperate closely with Wallenberg (my 2069, 
June 9, 6 p.m.). As Wallenberg’s functions in Budapest will be 
purely official and he has for time of appointment severed all 
business connections, Boheman does not anticipate any trouble 
in his securing the necessary visa. He said if the visa is 
refused the Swedish Government will simply refuse in turn to 
receive the Hungarian Charge d»Affaires. Mr. Boheman made it 
clear that Foreign Office and his government are disposed to 
cooperate as fully as possible in all humanitarian endeavors 
and the appointment of this Attache is undoubtedly an evidence 
of official Swedish desire to conform to the wishes expressed 
in Department’s telegram 1010, May 25, 2 p.m. 

Olsen and I are of opinion that W*r Refugee Board should 
be considering ways and means of implementing this action of 
Swedish Government particularly with respect to financial sup¬ 
port it may be possible to arrange for any concrete rescue and 
relief progress which may be developed. 


- 734 - 



(SECRET 11 W w ) July 7 t 1944 




The War Refugee Board cable 41 below is for Johnson and Olsen. 

Bohm, Anderson and Polen Hjalpen reports received. Reference 
your 2231, 2344, and 2360 of June 21, 27 and 28, your 31, 39 and 
40 to War Refugee Board. While it is difficult to attempt pre¬ 
cisely to outline program from here, the following general approach 
is suggested: 

Since money and favorable post-war consideration may motivate 
action impeding, relaxing or slowing down tempo of persecution and 
facilitate escapes and concealments, it should be ascertained in 
what quarters such inducements may be effective. In this con¬ 
nection, contact should be established, at discretion, with ap¬ 
propriate persons mentioned in Department* s 1246 of Jupe 23 and 
such others as may become known. If circumstances warrant funds 
will be made available at neutral bank for post-war use or in part 
in local currency now, procured against blocked counter-value here 
or in neutral bank. Eor latter purpose local funds may be pro¬ 
curable from appropriate persons mentioned in Department *s 1246 
such as (c) in first group and such others as may become known. 
Whenever a concrete proposal based on financial arrangements of 
substantial character or on favorable post-war consideration is 
broached, the matter should be referred to the Board for clearance, 
which will require evidence of effectiveness and good faith in 
the meantime. In order to care for less substantial transactions 
a fund of $50,000 will be placed at Olsen's disposal which may be 
used in his discretion in addition to the fund already available 
to him for discretionsry use. 

The problem may be dealt with on various levels such as high 
official, low official and unofficial, central and local. In con¬ 
nection with unofficial channels an informed source suggests that 
ships and barges going down the Danube are generally empty and may 
afford a means of escape for a limited number of refugees in the 
guise of seamen or otherwise. Same source suggests that skippers 
can be approached on financial basis and crews through so-called 
communist channels* Board i£ also advised that railroad line from 
Budapest to Mohacs, said to be about ten miles from partisan-con¬ 
trolled Yugoslav territory, might afford similar opportunities if 
contacts made with trainmen through what are termed communist chan¬ 
nels. Board further advised that Transylvanian Unitarian Church, 
socialist and partisan groups may be in a position because of 

- 735 - 

geographical situation and absence of real occupation to shelter 
refugees if they can reach that area. In addition, Board believes 
that Roman Catholic clergy and Nuncio may be helpful both in action 
and with advice. 

IHirther in connection with lower official and unofficial chan¬ 
nels the following list of persons, secured from same sources as 
list given in Department^ 1246 may be useful: In or near Buda¬ 
pest: (a) Dezso Vilmanyi, said to be former official in the 
Police Headquarters in Budapest, in 1939 transferred to the Police 
Department in the Ministry of Interior, in charge of passport mat¬ 
ters and to have granted many persons passports for consideration. 
Also said to have ingratiated himself with the Arrowcross Party 
and was counted among their fellow travelers by them, but that Jews 
could always count on his favors if they met his terms, in cash; 

(b) Zoltan* Timke, said to be Chief Prosecutor, Superior Court of 
Hungary, a chauvinist and reactionary, but opposed to the Nazis. 

It is said that he can be depended on to help Jews of reactionary 
and financial-commercial background; (c) Colonel Denes Deak*-Horvath, 
said to be wealthy, independent, and politically unaffiliated. It 
is said that he is Chairman of Bares Parmer s' Granary Cooperative, 
General Manager of Hungarian Pood Supply Co. It is also said that 
since 1940, he has been one of the leaders of the action protecting 
Polish refugees in Hungary and that he was fined for violation of 
the anti-Jewish laws. He is also said to have close connections 
with certain members of the present Hungarian government through 
which he may render useful services to our cause, notably with 
Anthony Xunder, the present minister of commerce; (d) Rezse 
Koszeghy, said to be 49 years of age, a native of Hungary of Ger- 
man-Swabian descent, and a former official of the National Bank 
of Hungary who is now general manager of a textile and fur con¬ 
cern. Said to be trustworthy as assistant and go between and to 
have a student son in Switzerland. Said to have good contact with 
rank and file in government officers; (e) Dr. Jeno Bozoky, said 
to be a lawyer who for a number of years very skilfully played the 
role of an ardent Nazi and anti-Semite, with the objective of help¬ 
ing distressed or endangered Jews and liberals. 

With reference to high official channels exploration may be 
made of the possibility, suggested by pages 29 and following of 
Bohm's report, of evacuation of Jews and persons similarly situated 
belonging* to specific groups such as (a) holders of Palestine cer¬ 
tificates, (b)’ holders of visas for entry into neutral countries, 
(c) persons to whom the issuance of visas for entry into an 
American republic is authorized provided they appear personally 
therefor before a consular offico* in a neutral country, (d) per¬ 
sons holding nas sports or consular documents issued in tne names 
of American republics, or who are under the protection of a neu¬ 
tral country as indicated by Bohm at page 26, (e) women and chil¬ 
dren, (f) aged and infirm men, and (g) parents, husbands, wives, 
children, etc., of American citizens. 

- 736 - 

You should advise Wallenberg of the foregoing to the extent 
that you deem advisable and Inform him chat the same constitutes 
a general outline of a program which the Board believes can be 
pursued* While he cannot, of course, act as the Board's Repre¬ 
sentative, nor purport to act in Its name, he can, whenever ad¬ 
visable, indicate that as a Swede he is free to comimmlcace with 
Stockholm where a representative of the Board is stationed* He 
i&ay thus express his willingness to lay before the Board's rep¬ 
resentative specific proposals if in any particular case he should 
deem so doing to be advisable, or if by reason of the nature of the 
proposal Olsen's or the Board's approval is necessary* Wallenberg 
should have with him copies of the President's Statement of March 
24, Department's 502 of March 24, the Statement of the Senate 
Foreign Relations Committee, Department's 1311 of July 1, the 
Statement of June 28, and Archbishop Spellman's statement. Depart¬ 
ment's 1283 of June 29* These he might on proper occasions call 
to the attention of appropriate persons, expressing the view, 
having Just come from outside German-controlled territory, that 
there is no question of American determination to see to it that 
those who share the guilt will be punished, but that helpful con¬ 
duct now may result in more favorable consideration than actions 
heretofore might warrant. 

Wallenberg should consult with the representative of the 
International Red Cross and impress upon him the urgent need of 
increasing Intercross representation in Hungary and intercession 
in an effort to secure permission to visit and inspect concentra¬ 
tion camps, ghettos and other places of detention* Wallenberg 
might undertake also to see whether such permission might be 
granted him and his colleagues. To the extent that you deem it 
advisable you may call Wallenberg's attention to Bohm's suggestions 
so that he may undertake to determine their feasibility and whether 
they offer channels through which effective measures can be taken. 
Please express to the Foreign Office and to Wallenberg the Board's 
sincere apreciation for their wholehearted cooperation. The Board 
is aware of Sweden's great concern and active measures of assis¬ 
tance for the victims of XTazi persecution and is confident that 
through cooperation such as has been evidenced in this and other 
instances, further lives will be saved. 


- 737 - 







legation of the 



Stockholm, Sweden 
November 14, 1944 

Mr. John W. Pehle 
Executive Director 
War Refugee Board 
Washington, D. C. 

Dear Mr. Pehle: 

I am enclosing a copy of a letter which I received recently 
from Mr. Wallenberg regarding the assistance which we have given 
to the Hungarian Jews. I believe this letter will be of much 
interest to the Board. 

Sincerely yours 



Iver C 0 Olsen , 
Special Attache for 
War Refugee Board 

Enclosure - 1 

-738 - 



Schwedische Gesandtschaft 

W./I. Budapest, 12th Okt. 1944. 

Mr. 01ssen f 
Strandvagen 7 
Stockholm - 

Dear Mr. Olssen, 

When I now look hack on the 3 months I have spent here I 
can only say, that it has been a most interesting experience and 
I believe, not quite without results. 

When I arrived, the situation of the Jews was very bad in¬ 
deed. The development of military events and a natural psy¬ 
chological reaction among the Hungarian people have changed many 
things. We at the Swedish Legation have perhaps only been an 
instrument to convert this outside influence into action in the 
various Government offices. I have taken quite a strong line in 
this respect although, of course I have had to keep within the 
limits assigned to me as a neutral. 

It has been my object all the time, to try to help all Jews. 
This, however, could only be achieved by helping a whole group of 
Jews to get rid of their stars. I have worked on the hypothesis 
that those, who were no longer under the obligation to carry the 
star, would help their fellow suffers. Also I have carried out 
a great deal of general enlightenment work among the keymen in 
charge of Jewish questions here. 

I am auite sure, that our activity - and that means in the 
last instance yours - is responsible for the freeing at this time 
of the interned Jews. These numbered many hundreds. At first 
only those were freed who possessed Swedish protective passports, 
but later all who had not committeed a criminal offence, were 

I have also received a promise that all "Swedish" Jews in 
civilian service (Arbeitsdienst) will be ordered back. The num¬ 
ber of these Jews is about 500 but I doubt that more than half 
of them may be brought back from their present assignments, v/hich 
are situated partly in front-district|. 

Mr. 01ssen, believe me, your donation in behalf of the 
Hungarian Jews has made an enormous amount of good* I think that 
they will have every reason to thank you for having initiated and 
supported the Swedish Jewish action the way you have in such a 
splendid manner* 

Tours faithfully 



- 740 - 










December 6, 1944 


My dear Mr. Minister! 

In connection with the outstanding service performed by Mr. 
Raoul Wallenberg of the Swedish Foreign Office in the program to 
■ave and protect the persecuted peoples in Hungary, the Board 
wishes to send him the enclosed letter of appreciation which is 
transmitted to you herewith for delivery to Mr. Wallenberg. 

I should like to take this opportunity to thank you per¬ 
sonally for the cooperation and deep interest which have been 
given to the operations of the War Refugee Board in Sweden by 
you and the Legation staff. 

Sincerely yours, 



J. W. Pehle 
Executive Director 

Honorable Herschel 7. Johnson, 
American Minister, 

Stockholm, Sweden. 


- 741 - 






December 6 # 1944 


My dear Mr. Wallenberg: 

Birough the American Minister in Stockholm and Mr. Iver 
Olsen, the War Refugee Board has kept closely informed of the dif¬ 
ficult and important work you have been doing to alleviate the 
situation of the Jewish people in Hungary. We have followed with 
keen interest the reports of the steps which you have taken to 
accomplish your mission and the personal devotion which you have 
given to saving and protecting the innocent victims of Nazi per¬ 

I think that no one who has participated in this great task 
can escape some feeling of frustration in that, because of cir¬ 
cumstances beyond our control, our efforts have not met with com¬ 
plete success. On the other hand, there have been measurable 
achievements in the face of the obstacles which had to be en¬ 
countered, and it is our conviction that you have made a very great 
personal contribution to the success which has been realized in 
these endeavors. 

On behalf of the War Refugee Board I wish to express to you 
our very deep appreciation for your splendid cooperation and for 
the vigor and ingenuity which you brought to our common humani¬ 
tarian undertaking. 

Very truly yours, 



J. W. Fshle 

Executive Director 

Mr. Raoul Wallenberg, 
Swedish Foreign Office 
Stockholm, Sweden. 

- 742 - 




FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 
TO: American Legation, Bern 

DATED: May 26, 1944 
NUMBER: 1806 


Following is for Minister Harrison and McClelland, Bern, Switser- 


Reference is made to Department's 1023 of March 27 and your 2312 
of April 13. 

Please represent to Intercross that according to persistent and 
seemingly authentic reports, systematic mass-extermination of Jews in 
Hungary has begun. The lives of 800,000 human beings may well depend 
on the restraint that may result from the presence in Hungary of the 
largest possible number of international observers. It is difficult 
to believe that measures designed to check such slaughter directly or 
indirectly can be considered by Intercross as "intruding into domestic 
policy" within the meaning of your 2312. If the measure suggested is 
unprecedented, so is the emergency. 

Please convey to Intercross the urgent hope of the Government of 
the United States that the special delegation requested in our 1023 
will be sent forthwith to Hungary. Failing this, it is felt that a 
considerable and immediate enlarging of Intercross delegation in Budapest 
and throughout Hungary, especially in the localities in which Jews are 
being concentrated, is an elementary humanitarian obligation of Inter¬ 
cross in face of this man-made disaster. 

Confident that Intercross will rise to the emergency, this Govern¬ 
ment would appreciate receiving prompt information as to the number and 
distribution of Intercross delegates in Hungary and as to the extent to 
which they are able to observe the treatment of Jews in that country. 

This is WEB Bern Cable No. 27. 


- 743 - 




Secretary of State, 

4896, 29th 



DATED: July 29, 1944 
REC'D: 4:30 p.n., 30th 

On July 18 ICRC published following official communique; 
"Following steps taken in Budapest by ICRC in Genera Hungarian 
authorities hare given the Committee official assurances that 
transportation of Jews beyond Hungarian frontiers has ceased and 
that the ICRC are authorised to furnish relief to Jews who are 
interned or in forced residence in Hungary. The Committee are 
furthermore empowered to cooperate in the eracuation of all Jew¬ 
ish children under ten years of age who are in possession of visas 
to reception countries and all Jews in Hungary holding entrance 
visas to Palestine will receive permission from the authorities 
to leave for that country." 

I discussed this whole question with Carl Burokhardt, acting 
president of ICRC, on July 24 and Committee's communique contains 
substantially all important points of Hungarian Government's 

I recommended to Burckhardt that ICRC discuss with Hungarian 
Government question of raising age limit of children to be evacua¬ 
ted to sixteen years for boys and eighteen years for girls. 

ICRC is awaiting detailed confirmatory information from its 
delegate in Budapest, particularly regarding evidence that ICRC 
representatives will actually be accorded local permission and 
practical possibilities carry out such a relief and evacuation 
program. ICRC has already dispatched one of its delegates from 
Berlin to Budapest and plans to send three more representatives as 
soon as possible. This initial delegation will probably include 
Susanne Ferriere, ICRC member, as expert for emigration questions, 
a certain Dr. Fischer, reputedly capable man, former ICRC delegate 
in Cairo, as head of mission and a third charged with financial 
and purchasing questions. Definite choice this first mission will 
be decided in special ICRC meeting this week. Burckhardt intimated 
that there night be possibility arranging dispatch to Hungary one 
or two capable Swiss persons as confidential WRB representatives 
probably attached to ICRC mission. 

Will keep you informed this encouraging new turn events. 


- 744 - 



RECT - 282 

This telegram must be 
paraphrased before being 
communicated to anyone 
other than a Government 
Agency. (Restricted) 

Secretary of State 
U. S. Urgent. 

3346. May 25. 4 p.m.. (Section One). 

Tot Elmer Davis, Carroll Wenner OWI from Maver. BNWAE 24493. 

Purther reference our 1912.30 

According to all reliable information (including some pub¬ 
lished in Hungarian newspapers particularly provincial press) un¬ 
mistakably steps are being taken preparatory to massive deportac¬ 
tion and extermination of the Jewish population especially in 
Carpatho-Russian and Maramaros regions. The number of people im¬ 
mediately involved is about 200.000 and the action shows every 
sign of being extended to the Jewish population in Hungary proper. 

This action has all the namelessly tragic and brutal earmarks 
of similar,, actions carried out in Poland by the Nazis and their 
henchmen. It is being most savagely taken in northeastern Hungary 
(along Slovakian border and in Carpatho-Ukraine) the principal 
towns involved being: 

Kassa, Ungvar, Munkacs. Beregszasz. Maramaros, Sziget and Nagy 
Szollos. About 200,000 Jews live in this region (namely some 
20$ to 22$ of the population.) 

During the second half of April concentration of the Jewish 
population began in the districts of Uhg, Bereg, Maramaros, and 
Peremvidek. In the outlying towns they were first assembled in 
the synagogues and in the case of the town of Ungvar (district 
of Ung) concentrated in the Moskovics tile factory, in the 
Kaposerstrasse and Randvanyerstrasse. At first some 8,700 Jews 
from surrounding townships were brought here; later when the 
number grew to 14,000 and there was not room enough in the tile 
factory, those newly driven in were concentrated from April 30 
on in a wood yard belonging to Glueck and Company. The Mayor of 
the town of Ungvar, Dr. Negay Laszlo, as a result of the general 
attempt of Christian population to bring clothing and food to 
these Jews, ordered that such concentration camps be isolated and 
that all traffic in adjoining streets be stopped. He further 
requested central authorities "to get the Jews out of town as 
quickly as possible because their presence endangered not only 
the public peace but hygienic conditions." 

/End of Section One/ 


DATED: May 25, 1944 
RE^D: 7 p.m. 

- 745 - 

MJK - 247 

This telegram mast he 
paraphrased before being 
communicated to anyone 
other than a Government 
Agency* (Restricted) 

Secretary of State, 

U. 8* Urgent. 

3346, May 25, 8 a.m. (Section Two) 

In the town Munkacs Jews from surrounding villages were con¬ 
centrated at first in area bordered by Kostuhlajos and Jrinyi 
streets and later transferred to cattle market in the same town. 
This brutal action considerably aroused the whole (*). 

In the town Beregszasz Jews from outlying districts were 
brought to Yari and Kent tile factories. Varitile factory could 
house a maximum of four thousand people but twelve thousand to 
Tifteen thousand persons were crowded into it. 

In the town Kassa Jews were also concentrated in the open 
cattle market and in the municipal slaughter houses. In this 
town in particular the action aroused great popular feeling since 
the Jewish population played an important part in the town f s in¬ 
dustries and commercial establishments. 

Tot all reliable reports - and this is even reflected in the 
Hungarian press especially in the provinces - the Hungarian pop¬ 
ulation have not sympathized with such brutal anti-Jewish meas¬ 
ures. On the contrary they have openly sided with the persecuted 
Jews and have continually attempted to aid these wretched souls 
by bringing them food and clothing. 

On the other hand the Hungarian authorities have taken severe 
measures to isolate such concentration camps and to cut off all 
assistance from outside. To o t uote from one paper: B !Die mass at¬ 
tempt to get food and clothing to Jews in concentration areas on 
the part of the population has been incomprehensible phenomenon* 

As a result the authorities have been forced to take the necessary 
police measures to cut off such Jews from all contact with the 
population. " 

The lot of these Jews in such improvised "camps" is wretched. 
Such cattle markets, tile factories and wood yards are almost 
completely devoid of sanitary facilities and in many instances 
thousands of men women children old and si^k people are forced to 
live in the open under conditions of frightful crowding and pro¬ 
miscuity. TheywBre permitted to take nothing with them in the 


DATED: May 25, 1944 
REC*D: 5:36 p.m. 

- 746 - 

way of ‘blankets or covers and it 'becomes tragically obvious that 
a great many will die of exposure disease and slow starvation even 
before they are jammed 80 to 100 to a wagon into cattle cars for 

/End of Section Two7 


- 747 - 






American Legation, Bern 
Secretary of State, Washington 
May 25, 1944 (Section Three) 

It is my urgent suggestion, is close collaboration with the 
War Refugee Board representative here, that the Government of the 
USSR be prevailed upon in regard to the purpose of the occupation 
of Hungary by the Basis, to associate itself with the declaration 
of March 24 by President Roosevelt (Eden March 3l). Since the 
Soviet armies cure standing on the frontiers of Hungary and the 
fear of the Russians in the hearts of a large number of "collaborators 11 
In Hungary is mortal, a declaration by the Soviet Union would have 
all the more weight. A man who returned from Hungary quite recently 
and who had seen Horthy gave a reliable report that the old man stated 
that the persecution of the Jews mas deplorable in his opinion; but, 
on the other hand, he felt strongly that as for the Germans who cure 
defending Hungary from the "Bolshevik peril", everything should be 
done to placate them. 

Logically it is to be expected furthermore that the Russians 
would issue such a statement since their government carried out the 
"Kharkov trials" after having subscribed to the "War criminal" clause 
of Moscow agreement. 

of Section Three7 

- 748 - 


PROMs American Legation, Bern 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATE: May 25, 1944, 4 p.m. 

N0| 3346 (Section Pour), 

By pamphlets especially should the Russian appeal (or rather 
threat) he publicized since most of the Hungarians do not possess 
radios in the regions concerned. 

In any propaganda campaign the emphasis ought to he placed on 
the complicity of the satellite Hungarian authorities* inveigling, 
lending willing hands and carrying out this persecution. Pacts 
which should not he forgotten are that the former Government of 
Hungary not only had pursued a long-standing policy of anti¬ 
semitism, hut also shared in the guilt of deportation to Galicia 
and Poland of some 17,000 Jews (for the reason that they were not 
able to establish adequately their Hungarian nationality) and Jews 
deported in 1942 in forced labor battalion to the eastern front 
in most cases to death from military action, exposure, disease 
and hunger; and had been directly responsible for the massacres 
of several thousand Serbs and Jews at Zabljak and Ugvidik (Novi 
Sad) in January of the same year. 

In addition, the Soviet Government should associate itself 
with the declaration of the President on the event of the estab- 
lisment of the War Refugee Board, it is strongly suggested. 

End of Section Pour 

- 749 - 


FROM: American Legation, Bern 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: May 25, 1944 

NO: 3346 (Section Five) 

Cooy of following cable should be sent to WRB. 

Certain channels of particular value (especially Communist) 
would be opened up, through which relief and rescue operations from 
Switzerland could be carried on in the Balkans if, like the British 
Government, the Russians would associate themselves with this 
initiative. Several well-organized underground channels will either 
be only partly available to WRB activities from Switzerland or remain 
entirely closed unless the Soviet Government issues such a declaration. 
(As the work might be hampered and the reaction unfavorable, no 
mention of Switzerland in particular should be made in any such 

Lastly, it is suggested, on the basis of several appeals which 
have been received from very dependable groups working in Hungary, 
that the intention of the Government of the United States to establish 
provisional havens of refuge be reaffirmed by the WRB or even better 
by the President on behalf of the work of WRB. In North-Africa probably 
and in former Italian Tripoli and Cyrenaica-Bengasi, particularly as 
has been suggested, all Jewish and other persecuted fugitives from the 
Balkans and Hungary — pending the time they can go back to their 
homes — will be given shelter and refuge in such havens. The Inter¬ 
cross might also be influenced in this way to become more active. 

(Message ends). 


- 750 - 



FROM: American Legation, Barn 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: June 24, 1944 

NUMBER: 4041 



McClelland sends the following for the Var Refugee Board. 

Reference is made herewith to Legation's message dated June 
17, No- 3867, paragraph three. 

New there Is no doubt that the majority of the Jewish popula— 
tion east of the Danube, especially in eastern, northern, and north 
eastern Hungary, has been deported to Poland. Further reliable in¬ 
formation confirming this fact has come In In the course of the past 
two weeks from the following Independent sources: (a) Swiss offi- 

J clal employee just returned from Budapest, (b) railway workers In 
Csech resistance movement, (c) other reliable secret source. Regard 
Information as to sources as absolutely confidential since any pub¬ 
licity regarding them would endanger lives. 

Prior to the deportations, there were two weeks to a month of 
brutal concentration during which thousands of Jews were crowded 
together in primitive quarters with Insufficient food, clothing and 
water, regardless of state of health, sex or age. The Hungarian 
gendarmerie on Lasslo Endre's orders largely carried out this action. 

Apparently the actual large-scale deportations began about 
May 15 and lasted until the mid dle of June. The movement Involved 
12,000 persons per day* about 7,000 through Bub-Carpatho-Russla 
and 5,000 through Slovakia. Characteristic of such actions, people 
were deported 60 to 70 per sealed freight wagon for a trip of two 
to three days without adequate water or food, probably resulting 
in many deaths en route. 

Particularly used were the following stretches of railroad: 

(1) Csap-Kaschau-Preaov-Lubotin-Nowysacz in direction of Oswlecla; 

(2) SatoralJaujhaly-Leginamich Wlany-Michaloves-Medailaborce. Also 
many thousand troope to and from the Polish front were transported 
dally over this line; (3) Xunkacs-Iavoczne; (4) Galanta-Sered- 
Leopoldstadt-Novemesto-Trencin; (5) Vrutky-Zilina. 

It is urged by all sources of this information in Slovakia and ' 
Hungary that vital sections of these lines especially bridges along 
(1) be bombed ms the only possible means of slowing down or stopping 
future deportations. (This is submitted by me as a proposal of 
these agencies and I can venture no opinion on its utility.) 

- 751 - 

At least 335,OCX) Jews already have been deported from the 
following regions according to figures received. 

Approximately 130,000 in Sub-Carpathia and Ruthenia aainly 
from the towns of Beregezacz, Felsovizo, Hus*t, Hagyezollos, 
M&r&maros, Sziget, lhinkacs, Tecar and Ungvar. 

Approximately 90,000 in Transylvania fro* Bozstorce, Des, 
Koloszvar, Nares Vasarboly, Nagybenya, Nagyvarad, Szaszregan, 
Szilagy, aiid Somlyo. 

In northern lakeschan, Gyongyos, Satoraljaujhaly and 

Approximately 75,000 in the Tisz region froa: Kisvarda, 
Matcazalka, Nagykaroly, Ffyiregyhaza and Szatmar Nemeti. 

It is also reported by one source that deportations of approxi¬ 
mately 20,000 have taken place from certain towns in southern Hun¬ 
gary such as Bacz(*)ya, Baja, ICagykaniesa, Ujvidak and Ssabadkm and 
further exi(*)tions also being made deport Jews fro® towns of 
Dunaszerdahely, Cyoer, Komaro®, Miskele, Pecs and Szoabathely 
where persons are already concentrated. 

Some 350,000 Jews have already been concentrated in Budapest 
and environs. This began around June 16 and on the 21st it was to 
be finished. In the city proper they have been settled in requi¬ 
sitioned blocks of houses in a chess board pattern so that they 
will not escape bombardment. 

Some 15,000 Jews have been crowded into a ghetto in the fac¬ 
tory zone along the Danube in UJpezt near Budapest. 

The principal individuals in the Sztojay Government respon¬ 
sible for this persecution of Jews are as follows* Laszlo Enire, 
former sub-prefect of county of Pest now in Ministry of Interior: 
laszlo Baky, also Interior, and Andre Jaroes, Minister of Interior. 

In an effort to check such continued deportations Teraancezov 
(*) from the United States, we recommend British and Soviet (*) 
broadcasts and especially leaflets. If it is possible, the Vatican 
should be prevailed upon to associate Itself with such protest. 

There is little doubt that many of these Hungarian Jews are 
being sent to the extermination camps of Auschwitz (Oswiecim) and 
Blrkenau (Rajska) in western Upper Silesia where, according to re¬ 
cent reports, since early summer 1942 at least 1,500,000 Jews have 

- 751 - 

At least 335,000 Jews already have been deported from the 
following regions according to figures received. 

Approximately 130,000 In Sub-Carpathia and Ruthenla mainly 
from the towns of Beregez&cz, Felsovizo, Huszt, Nagyezollos, 
Maramaros, Szlget, Uunkacs, Tecar and Ongvar. 

Approximately 90,000 in Transylvania from Bozstorce, Des, 

Koloszvar, Nares Vasarboly, Nagybenya, Nagyvarad, Szaszregan, 
Szllagy, aiid Somlyo. 

In northern I&kaschau, Gyongyos, Satoraljaujhaly and 

Approximately 75,000 in the Tisz region from: Klsvarda, 
Matcazalka, Hagykaroly, Nyiregyhaza and Szataar Nemeti. 

It is also reported by one source that deportations of approxi¬ 
mately 20,000 have taken place from certain towns In southern Hun¬ 
gary such as Bacz(*)ya, Baja, Ifagykanleza, Ujvldak and Ssabadka and 
further exi(*)tlons also being made deport Jews from towns of 
Dunaszerdahely, Cyoer, Komarom, Miskele, Pecs and Szombathely 
where persons are already concentrated. 

Some 350,000 Jews have already been concentrated In Budapest 
and environs. This began around June 16 and on the 21st it was to 
be finished. In the city proper they have been settled In requi¬ 
sitioned blocks of houses in a chess board pattern so that they 
will not escape bombardment. 

Some 15,000 Jews have been crowded Into a ghetto in the fac¬ 
tory zone along the Danube In Ujpezt near Budapest. 

The principal individuals in the Sato jay Government respon¬ 
sible for this persecution of Jews are as follows* Laszlo Endre, 
former sub-prefect of county of Pest now In Ministry of Interior; 
Laszlo Baky, also Interior, and Andre Jaroes, Minister of Interior. 

In an effort to check such continued deportations Termancezov 
{*) from the United States, we recommend British and Soviet (*) 
broadcasts and especially leaflets. If it is possible, the Vatican 
should be prevailed upon to associate itself with such protest. 

There is little doubt that many of these Hungarian Jews are 
being sent to the extermination camps of Auschwitz (Oswiecim) and 
Birkenau (Rajska) in western Upper Silesia where, according to re¬ 
cent reports, since early summer 1942 at least 1,500,000 Jews have 

- 753 - 


KEM - 489 

Distribution of true 
reading only by special 
arrangement. (Secret W) 

Secretary of State, 


2187, June 17, 8 p.m. 

Following summarises principal features of Bohm’s report of 
the situation in Hungary, which has been forwarded airmail by 
pouch leaving here June 20. 

This is our 32 for WRB supplementing our 27 (Legation's 2098, 
June 12, 9 a.m.). 


Humber of refugees in Hungary estimated to require relief and 
protection placed at more than one million. Group comprises fol¬ 
lowing citizens: 

Political refugees: Social Democrats, Liberals, Communists 
and others, three thousand. 

Non-Hungarian Jews who escaped from Germany, Austria, Slovakia, 
Rumania and other neighboring countries, twenty thousand. 

Hungarian Jews, eight hundred thousand, plus an additional two 
hundred thousand involved through Nuremberg and other laws and 

Polish citizens and Polish soldiers, were approximately twenty 
thousand but impossible *<o determine how many are still alive. 

Official regulations against Jews issued through May include 
dispossession of flats, confiscation of cash and securities, dis¬ 
possession of agricultural properties, personal and household 
effects, 'Closing of approximately forty-five thousand stores; des¬ 
truction of all books by Jewish authors; conscription of all per¬ 
sons between 18 and 48 for forced labor. 

All communities have been instructed to place their Jewish 
population in concentration camps and ghettos. A Secretary of 
State for Jewish Affairs personally made tours of inspection to 
determine whether regulations were carried out, thereafter made 
public announcements of great success of program. It was announced 
that 320,000 Jews had been placed in concentration camps in provin¬ 
cial areas east of The is. Reports of cruelty, torture, murders and 
suicides appear confirmed. 


DATED: June 17, 1944 
REC'D: 9:11 p.m. 

- 754 - 

Swedish Foreign Office has, in approximately BOO individual 
cases , instructed its Legation in Budapest to advise Hungarian 
authorities that such persons have protection of Swedish Govern¬ 
ment and have been promised entry visas. This has been helpful in 
certain cases, in others of no avail* 

Following recomfaendatione are made in report as to rescue 
operations : 

To have neutral countries, on basis of Hungarian official 
declaration that its Jewish problem can only he solved by evacua¬ 
tion of this element, offer to supply haven for these refugees and 
to assist in their evacuation. It is not considered likely that 
Hungarians would permit politically compromised Jews to depart, but 
there is a chance they would permit other groups in which neutral 
countries have expressed & protective interest to depart, also 
others who are eligible to go to Palestine^ smd still other groups 
to be determined by negotiations. Evacuation would require some 
bargaining with certain German officials and evacuation operations 
in general unquestionably will be expensive. 

Report contains following suggestions for relief operations: 

Food and medicine is of tremendous urgency for people in con¬ 
centration camps and ghettos, much of which could be obtained local¬ 
ly if properly organised. Similarly, distribution of local currency 
for needy cases would be most helpful. Much of the activity can be 
coordinated through a temporary committee designated by Minister of 
Interior on May 13 for management of Jewish problems, called Commit¬ 
tee of the Union of Hungarian Jews, Is presided over by Sassu Stem, 
Chairman of the Jewish community in Budapest, and Peto Erno as Vice 
President, Committee members ar© Xaroly Wilhelm, Bela Berend (Chief 
Rabbi), Rabbi Samu Kahan Frank!, Fulop Obudai Freudip Guar (?) 
(Freudiger) (President of the local Jewish community), Sandor Torek 
(author). Dr. Jose F„ H&gy (head physician of the Jewish Hospital) 
and Dr. Janos Gabor (attorney)• 


- 755 - 









No. 3593 Stockholm, June 26, 1944. 

Subject: Transmitting Translation of Swedish Report on Anti- 
Jewish Measures Placed in Effect by Present “Govern¬ 
ment " of Hungary. 


The Honorable 

The Secretary of State, 


With reference to my telegram to the Department No. 2271 June 23, 
4 p.m., I have the honor to transmit a translation of a memorandum 
rtated May 26, 1944, describing regulations which the present “Govern¬ 
ment of Hungary has placed in effect for the purpose of restricting 
and abolishing the rights of the Jewish population. 

The memorandum has only been made available to the Legation on 
the understanding that the interested American authorities will regard 
as confidential the fact that the information contained therein 
emanates from Swedish sources. 

Respectfully yours. 


Herschel V. Johnson 


Translation of Memorandum 
File N 0 . 840.1 

Original to the Department for 
possible ozaliding. 

- 756 - 

/Enclosure to Despatch No. 359jft dated June 26, i944, from the 
Legation at Stockholm, Swedenjj 



During the past weeks new regulations hare been issued daily ia 
Budapest, designed to exclude the Jewish population from practically all 
the natural rights of a member of the community. 

Among these regulations, practically all of which originated 
within the overworked Ministry of the Interior and are, therefore, 
often difficult to interpret and in many cases contradictory, three 
different categories may be discerned! Those applying to (a) 
professions and occupations; (B) housing and financial status and 
(C) living conditions in all other respects. The following may be an 
adeouate summary, therefore, of what is now, or will in the near 
future be, denied a Jewish citizen in Hungary and the restrictions to 
which he is subject. 

(A) No Jew may hold a position in the public service. Nor may 
a Jew practice a profession, i.e. as lawyer, journalist, author, 
publisher, printer, actor, owner of apothecary, lending library, adver¬ 
tising and newspaper office, copying agency, et cetera. A Jew is 
forbidden to carry on industry or trade as an independent enterprise and 
one-half of all Jews in private employment occupied with intellectual 
work must be dismissed by the enterprise in question before the end of 
May and the other half before the end of September of this year. 

Licenses granted Jews for production and sale of monopoly articles 

such as tobacco, liouor and salt have been declared invalid. Jews may 
not be employed as servants in homes and families, nor may a Jew employ 
a non-Jew to assist in the household. All such employment has been 
cancelled with one stroke of the pen, and thus the only occupations 
still open to Jews for their livelihood seem now to be those of 
physician, craftsman or manual laborer. 

(B) The housing conditions have been "regulated” in such a way 
that all Jews are obliged to report their possession of living quarters 
and be prepared, with a few hours* or at the most some days* notice, 

to be evicted and forcibly removed, with orders to leave behind them 
certain designated types of furniture, etc. In reality this means 
that, bag in hand, they must move to some designated room to live 
with another Jewish family which has been regarded as hAving too much 
space. In other cases—and this concerns especially communities with 
less than 10,000 inhabitants—they have been forced to leave their 
community and, taking with them belongings not weighing more than 60 
kilograms, and funds not exceeding 50 pengo, are forcibly transported 
to some other locality where a ghetto has been established, or if 
none exists, to an assembly camp having a minimun of space and abomi¬ 
nable sanitary conditions. With respect to the capital with its some 
300,000 Jewish inhabitants, there has, naturally, not yet been time 

- 757 - 

to "solve" the problem along these line*. The idea of establishing 
a large enclosed ghetto has had to be abandoned, and it has been 
impossible to establish internment ceaps, with the exception of a 
small number under German management. According to reports, however, 
it is expected that three or four very stingily allotted sections of 
that quarter of Pest east of the Danube where the population already 
to a great extent is of Jewish race will for the time being be used 
as an unenclosed ghetto to which all the Jews living in other quarters 
of the town will be removed. Gentiles living in the aforementioned 
areas will be requested to move voluntarily to the vacated Jewish 
dwellings in ether parts of the town. In case they offer objections- 
which, however, is unlikely—they, too, will be removed by force. 

With regard to property, all Jews are obliged to declare their 
real estate and personal property, provided its value exceeds 10,000 
pengo with an addition of 3,000 pengo for each member of the family. 

As a basis for evaluation, the "market value" is used, which under 
present conditions obviously is a very elastic conoept and places 
the honest declarer in an unfavorable special category. All funds 
in excess of 3,000 pengo, gold or platinum articles. Jewelry and 
precious stones must be handed over and deposited in a bank,—a stipu¬ 
lation, naturally, that is being evaded by the less conscientious 
even at the risk of detection and punishment. Shopkeepers must 
declare their stocks of goods on hand and equipment, which are 
sequestered as a result of the closing of the premises. This, 
obviously, caused much inconvenience in the case of sh6ps carrying 
perishable foodstuffs; this situation had not been reckoned with, and 
it was thus necessary to make other arrangements. 

(C) Jews must relinquish their ration cards and accept new 
ones on which the sugar ration is cut down from 1,000 to but 300 
grams a month, and the butter ration is replaced by some 300 grams 
of sesame oil. Jews receive no veal or pork, merely 100 grams of 
beef or horse meat per week. These rules are likely to cause a 
further rise in the already flourishing black market. 

Jews may not, without special permission which is very difficult 
to obtain, use railway, steamship or bus communications, and, in 
general, may not travel by automobile. 

Jews may not frequent public baths with the exception of a few 
designated places intended exclusively for Jews. In Budapest there 
are now only three of the most unpretentious kind. 

With respect to Jews living in the provinces, in so far as they 
still enjoy any freedom of movement, the local authorities have 
issued or will issue regulations regarding a certain limited time when 
they may leave their dwellings and make their purchases. 

Jews may not live in hotels, frequent restaurants, cafes and tea 
shops, attend theatrical and musical performances or other public 
amusements, unless the local authorities have designated places and 
hours especially reserved for Jewish visitors. 

- 758 - 

Jews may not possess weapons or explosives and, finally, may not 
belong to any society or union of any kind, with the exception of the 
general association of all Jews in the country which it is planned to 
form and in which membership will he obligatory. 

All the regulations mentioned herein, which will undoubtedly be 
further amplified, concern all Jews coming within the category of 
those who are obliged under an earlier decree to carry the yellow 
star and are in accordance therewith to be "regarded as Jews", 
regardless of whether they are of Jewish or Christian confession. 

(in Budapest the Christian Jews number about 36^ of the total number 
of Jews./ As for those few who enjoy the privilege of being regarded 
as non-Jewish a revision will be made concerning those whose exemption 
is based on patriotism manifested by them even at the risk of their 
own lives during the counter-revolution of 1919. To this end a 
committee has been appointed within the Ministry of the Interior, whose 
head, however, has the authority personally to make the final decision 
irrespective of what the attitude may be of the committee members in 
each particular case. As a result of pressure brought by the clergy, 
relief has also been granted to persons of Jewish race belonging to the 
Christian clergy, and also to the Jewish spouse in a marriage and 
Jewish widows who prior to March 22nd of this year became Chirstians, 
provided there are no children belonging to the Mosaic congregation. 

Finally, a regulation of more real significance is that which 
grants relief from all obligations now imposed upon Jews to foreign 
citizens for whom their respective legations have issued certificates 
as to their citizenship and submitted them to the Alien Control 
Commission, under the presumption that a state of reciprocity prevails. 

Of the above-mentioned stipulations—for which in most cases no 
implementing orders have as yet been issued and which therefore can 
be and are subject to very arbitrary interpretation, especially in 
the provinces where the local authorities appear to act as they 
please—.it may perhaps be said that although they imply unprecedented 
interference with a citizen’s normal rights as a member of the com¬ 
munity, they, nevertheless, do not imply any direct and immediate 
threat to life. Such a threat does, however, in fact loom before the 
great mass of Jewish population in Hungary. According to reliable 
reports, Hungary has been able through an agreement with the German 
authorities to carry its point as to the right to retain some 
150,000 male Jews of the military conscript ages of 21-50 years for 
assignment to military labor companies to perform necessary tasks in 
connection with the country’s defense. The remaining Jews, totalling 
some 900,000 persons, are intended to be transferred to German 
territory. This transfer has begun, and takes place daily in sealed 
freight cars carrying 70 persons in each car, without sanitary 
provisions and with no more food than each person can carry with him. 
Hitherto, according to one version, about 100,000 persons, and 
according to another, some 20,000 persons, have been sent to Germany 

- 759 - 

in this manner. The areas which have thus been depopulated of Jews 
are primarily the 8th and 9th army corps areas in the eastern and 
northeastern parts of the country where internment camps have been 
established for a total number of 120,000 to 150,000 persons, in 
areas covering as many square meters, in the seven towns of 
Marosvasarhely, Kolossvar, Des, Munkacs, Ungvar, SatoralJaujhely and 
Kaesa—and also* according to an unconfirmed report, in Bekescsaba. 

As a rule, brick bams without walls and having only a roof have 
been used for this purpose, but at Des an open space in the forest 
has been used, with no protection against rain and wind. When riots 
broke out in some places in connection with internment measures, it 
is said that some 100 persons were shot or seriously wounded. Con¬ 
ditions in these camps are said to defy all description. In one or 
two places cases of typhus caused the city physician and, according 
to reports, also the chief of the army corps to lodge an energetic 
protest—without result, as the local authorities were able to point 
to an order emanating from the Ministry of the Interior. A report 
from the town of Ujvidek in southern Hungary (a town of tragic repute 
following the massacre in the winter of 1942, whose military initi¬ 
ators escaped punishment by fleeing to Germany but have now returned 
to their former posts) states that 2,000 Jews have been deported, 
and at the time of transportation to the camps were deprived even of 
their insignificant sums of money and hand baggage. 

In other parts of the country the oppression and acts of violence 
against the Jewish population have not yet reached their climax. 

Thus, in the large province of Pest-Pilis which surrounds the capital 
the authorities have been content to observe the instructions that 
al) Jews from the various districts should be placed in ghettos, 
totalling about 30, and may not be sent to internment camps except 
upon orders from the Ministry of the Interior in each specific case. 
Nonetheless, even here it appears only to be a ouesticn of time 
before the Jews thus assembled will in their turn be sent westward 
or northward. The purpose of this "^migration" seems to be partly to 
supply Germany with labor, and partly, with respect to the aged and 
children, to use them as some kind of hostages or bombing protection 
by placing them near industrial establishments important to war 

May 29, 1944 

- 760 - 




FROM: Ami©gation, Bern 

TO: Secretary of State t Washington 

DATED: July 14, 1944 

NUMBER: 4506 


I called on Mr. Pilet-Golaz, as teecast in my 4324, July 6, and 
conveyed expression of appreciation as directed in your 2221, June 30 
and the entire War Refugee problem was reviewed. 

1* Stating that he had received from President Huber a copy of 
the latter's reply to my letter of May 22, my 3144 and 3147, Mr. Pilot 
felt that any approach to the Germans along the lines indicated in 
your 1498, April 29, would be resented and might Jeopardize ICRC's 
present efforts to furnish relief to the persecuted in which he 
would continue to put forward every assistance possible. 

2. In regard to the havens of refuge (my letter of June 16 men¬ 
tioned in my 3955, June 2), Mr. Pilet recalled the Swiss policy as 
previously stated respecting acceptance of refugees who are continual¬ 
ly arriving. Likewise, Mr. Pilet referred to his efforts which have 
so far been unsuccessful in obtaining permission for children to come 
to Switzerland from German occupied territory and Germany. I was 
informed by Mr. Pilet that the interested services of his government 
had now under consideration a proposal to the Hungarian Government to 
take five thousand children and expectant mothers. It was his expec¬ 
tation that suitable arrangements be made so that they would not re¬ 
main in Switzerland permanently if the proposal was successful. 

3. Mr. Pilet Btated, in regard to reports of deportation of 
some 400,000 Jews from Hungary, that to know exactly what had happen¬ 
ed to those poor people was difficult. So far 250,000 had been 
takenae indicated by his reports. It is known that those capable of 
working had been moved to labor camps but it is not known what hap¬ 
pened to the others. In Hungary arrest of Jews was affected by 
Hungarian authorities who then turned them over to the Gestapo and 

it is claimed that to this outrageous action 80j{ of the Hungarians 
were opposed. . In many instances Hungarians had been punished for 
endeavoring to assist and protect the Jews. It was stated by Mr. 

Pilet that he had been told there were in Hungary about 800,000 Jews. 

4. The interest and concern of the government and people of 
Switzerland for the fate of the Jews in Hungary was stressed by Mr. 
Pilet and he gave me in strictest confidence the following Information: 

- 761 - 

(A) In close touch with Interested Swiss Jewish organisations 
the Federal government is facilitating communications between organ¬ 
isations in Switserland and Jewish organisations in Hungary and in 
this connection Mr. Saly Mayer's name was mentioned by him. 

(B) Close contact is maintained with and assistance rendered to 
ICBC. A direct appeal has been transmitted by him from President 
Huber to Regent Horthy. 

(C) Now under active consideration is a proposal to obtain per¬ 
mission for 6000 children and expectant mothers (see above). 

(D) Instructions have been issued to the Swiss Minister in 
Budapest to leave the Hungarian Government in no doubt as to the at¬ 
titude of the Swiss Government and Swiss people with regard to these 
persecutions and to make it clear to the Hungarian Government that 
undoubtedly the good relations and high regard which the Swiss Govern¬ 
ment and people had for Hungary would be adversely affected by con¬ 
tinuance of this In similar terms Mr. Pilet has spoken to 
the Hungarian Charge in Bern. 

5. Although the Regent has "washed his hands" of all responsi¬ 
bility, I was told by Mr. Pilet that he professed to be opposed to 
the persecution of Jews. It is apparent that to be named as one of 
those responsible is feared by Horthy. I propose to ask the Swiss, 
unless you perceive some objection,, to press the Hungarians for a 
reply to our note of June 13 and in doing so call their attention to 
warning to Leaders as well as functionaries and subordinates in the 
statement of March 24 issued by the President. 


- 762 - 








American Legation, Bern 
Secretary c t State, Washington 
June 16, 1944 


Reference is made herewith to No. 37 from WRB, your cable of 
June 6, 1944 N 0 . 1946. 

1. A note requesting transmission of inquiry to Hungarian Govern¬ 
ment, as suggested, has been delivered to the Swiss Foreign Office* 

This note requests an indication of the intentions of Hungary as regards 
further treatment of Jews with special reference to forced deportations, 
discriminatory reductions of food rations or adoption of similar measures 
that amount to mass execution and reminding them of the grave view which 
the United States takes regarding persecution of Jews and other minori¬ 
ties and the United States 1 determination to punish those sharing the 
responsibility in accordance with the March 24 warning by the President. 

The Foreign Office has accepted the note as presented and will 
transmit verbatim as annex to the note to the authorities of Hungary. 

It has been agreed by the Swiss to report the date of the delivery of 
the note* 

2. It is recommended that the foregoing be given no publicity 
pending receipt of information of delivery of the note by the Swiss to 
the Hungarians and that no mention of Swiss intermediary be made should 
publicity then appear to be advisable* 

3. Considering the extremely small number of radio receiving sets 
in Hungary, dropping pamphlets by plane would be the best method of 
achieving publicity in Hungary. 


- 763 - 



This telegram must be 
paraphrased before being 
communicatea to anyone 
other than a Government 
Agency. (Restricted) 

Secretary of State, 


5040, August 5* 6 p.m. 

1. With reference to note verbale No. 257, June 26, 1944, 
concerning a communication regarding the inquiry of American Govern¬ 
ment with respect to treatment of Jews in Hungary, Royal Hungarian 
Foreign Ministry has the honor to inform the Swiss Legation of the 
following x 

As in most European states, Jewisn question has, particularly 
in recent decades, also became one of the greatest economic, social 
and political problems in Hungary. Jewish problem became especial¬ 
ly difficult as Jewry, thanks to liberal organization of the state, 
had been able secure prominent position in economic, political and 
cultural life. Also in those large states where race problem was 
far less important—as for instance negro question in the United 
States—government was obliged to take corresponding measures for 
the protection of its own race. In consequence, various govern¬ 
ments of Hungary were obliged to strive against excessive influence 
of this foreign race, as Hungarian Jewry constitutes far greater 
danger for Hungary than for instance negroes or Japanese ior white 
population of United states. Jews not only possessed most impor¬ 
tant economic positions in Hungary, but thereby exerted very strong 
influence on national life of the country as a whole, which threat¬ 
ened degenerate foundations of the national character of the people. 

Recognizing this danger, as in other European states, the Hun¬ 
garian Governments of the time also undertook solution of Jewish 
question. Articles of law XV of 1938, IV of 1939 and XV of 1941 
formed legal basis for measures which tended toward solution Jewish 

Military events on eastern front and approach of Soviet army 
to Hungarian frontier made it necessary fully to mobilize all mili¬ 
tary, material, and moral forces of country for defense of nation's 
existence. This also meant elimination of everything that would 
undermine or diminish the country's resisting power. As defeatist 
propaganda and agitation of Jews—as in 1918—became more and more 
perceptible in this decisive phase of the war, and in order to pre¬ 
vent repetition of tragic events of 1918-19, Government was obliged 
to eliminate on increased scale influence of Jews. They were conse¬ 
quently separated from rest of population and put to more useful 



DATED: August 5, 1944 
REC'D: 11:15 p.m. 

- 764 - 

work—either in country itself or abroad. In so doing Government 
an d its functionaries did not fail consider laws of humanity and 
justice. If individual cases of injustice occurred, they were al¬ 
ways due to sporadic actions of some subordinate organs, which in 
each case were made responsible. 

Numerous Jews were placed at the disposal of German Government 
as workers, as was case for years for tens of thousands of workers 
of Hungarian nationality and Christian faith. 

Treatment of Jews working in Hungary is similar to that accord¬ 
ed other workers in work camps (for example students, etc.). 

With respect to food rationing, non-working Jews do not receive 
certain more or less luxury articles (such as rice, fowl, butter, 
poppy)$ concerning basic necessities however they are on same basis 
as rest of population. 

It may be added in supplement that during recent weeks situa¬ 
tion of Jews has been notably improved. Enclosed note gives details 
regarding these concessions. At the instance of some foreign organ¬ 
izations (International Red Cross, Ha r Refugee Board), Hungarian 
Government has made it possible for Hungarian Jews to emigrate to 
neutral states, respectively, to Palestine. 

2. Translation from French of enclosure to above follows: 

Present status of action taken by Hungarian Government regard¬ 
ing Jews is following: 

I. 1. Deportation of Jews for work abroad temporarily sus¬ 
pended . 

2. View proposals presented by Swedish Red Cross, by Swiss 
Legation acting behalf Palestine Immigration Commission 
as well as by War Refugee Board, Hungarian Government 
authorised emigration Jews Sweden, Switzerland, Pales¬ 
tine and other countries. 

a) Jews who obtain from Swedish King Swedish nation¬ 
ality can emigrate Sweden in accordance with action 
of Swedish Red Cross. Jews who have relatives 
Sweden or who have commercial contact for certain 
time with that country can emigrate Sweden or 
Palestine. This category includes about 400 or 
500 persons. 

b) Several thousand Jews are authorized emigrate 
Palestine aided by Palestinian Immigration Commis¬ 
sion through intermediary Swiss Legation Budapest. 
Persons indicated above can emigrate Palestine if 
bearers "certificat d 1 2 immigration” delivered by 
British authorities. 

- 765 - 

c) On basis of proposals mentioned above from War 
Kefugee Board, Hungarian Government authorised 
Intercross to arrange sending Jewish children 
under 10 years of age to Palestine, war Refugee 
Board will be authorised materially assist Jews 
interned Hungary. 

II. In addition concessions above mentioned, following miti¬ 
gations accorded in treatment Jews: 

1. Deportation baptised Jews for work abroad stopped. 

2. a) Administration behalf baptised Jews entrusted 

°Counsel for Baptised Jews" established July 6, 

b) Jews baptised prior to August 1, 1941, remain in 
the country but their segregation from non-Jewish 
persons will be ordered. 

c) They are obtaining all facilities in exercise of 
their religion. 

3. a) Facilities ordered for baptised Jews residing 

Budapest will be extended to baptised Jews outside 
of capital. 

b) Revision of situation of baptised Jews sent to 
work in Germany foreseen. 

4. It will be decided as soon as possible who are to be 
considered as converted Jews and such action will af¬ 
fect not only Jews aged 16 to 60 but Jews all ages. 

5. Following exempted bear Jewish star: 

a) Family members of ministers of Christian religion 
(parent, brothers and sisters, wives and children 
of protestant ministers). 

b) Bearers ecclesiastical (papal) decorations. 

c) Members of Order of Holy Sepulchre. 

III. 1. 

2 . 

3 . 

a) Discretionary right reserved for regent in exemp¬ 
tion certain number of Jews. There will be exemp¬ 

b) Jews living in marriage with persons of Christian 

c) Jews bearing certain war decorations (golden medal 
military bravery, etc.). 

d) Jews of certain special merits. 

e) Ministers of Christian religions. 

Departures Jews for work abroad will take place under 
conditions accordance humanitarian laws and Hungarian 
Red Cross will have possibility exercise control. 

It will be permitted to send via Red Cross food parcels 
to persons interned concentration camps. 


- 766 - 









JUM 29 1944 

TO: Ur. Me Cloy, Assistant Sacretary of Mar 

FROM: J. W. Fehle 

In connection with my recent conversation with yon, 
I am attaching a copy of a cable Just received from our 
representative in Bern, Switzerland. I wish to direct 
your attention particularly to the paragraphs concerning 
the railway lin®« being used for the deportation of Jews 
from Jung ary to Poland and the proposal, of various 
agencies that vital sections these lines be bombed. 



/Omitted - Ed. 
See Document 


117 / 

- 767 - 






y Washington, D. C. 

4 July 1944 

Mr. John W. Pehle 
Executive Director 
War Refugee Board 
Treasury Department 
Washington 25, D. C. 

Dear Mr. Pehle: 

I refer to your letter of June 29, inclosing a cable 
from your representative in Bern, Switzerland, proposing 
that certain sections of railway lines between Hungary 
and Poland be bombed to interrupt the transportation of 
Jews from Hungary, 

The War Department is of the opinion that the sug¬ 
gested air operation is impracticable. It could be 
executed only by the diversion of considerable air support 
essential to the success of our forces now engaged in 
decisive operations and would in any case be of such very 
doubtful efficacy that it would not amount to a practical 

The War Department fully appreciates the humanitarian 
motives which prompted the suggested operation but for the 
reasons stated above the operation suggested does not 
appear justified. 




John J. MeCloy 










Delegation to the 
United States of America 

1645 Connecticut Ave., Washington 9, D.C. 

In replying refer to ( S/A/K ) 
July 25, 1944 

Mr. J. W. Pehle 
Executive Director 
War Refugee Board 
Washington 25, D. C. 

Dear Mr. Pehle: 

This Delegation has received a cable from the I.C.R.C., the 
text of which is embodied in enclosed note. 

At the suggestion of Mr. George L. Warren, Advisor on Refugees 
and Displaced Persons, Department of State, I am pleased to send 
you a copy thereof. 

Yours very truly. 



Alfred Em Zollinger 
Delegate of the I.C.R.C 



- 769 - 




^Enclosure No* 1 to letter 
of the International Coonittee 
of the Red Cross dated July 25, 


Reft s/4/k 
July 25, 1944 

25/7/44 Handed oyer personally to 
Ur. Warren of State 


We have received today the following communication from 
the I.C.R.C. in Geneva* 

The Hungarian Government is willing to make possible the 
emigration of certain categories of Jews and has advised the 
I.C.R.C. of its readiness in tfaLs respect. 

Very obviously from the viewpoint of maintaining the prin¬ 
ciple of neutrality, which in effect is based on reciprocity, the 
I.C.R.C. feels that the number of emigrant Jews to be admitted 
to the United States should be substantially increased, and that 
a corresponding number of Entry permits should be accorded. 

It would, furthermore, be desirable if the United States 
Government would make a public statement on this subject, indi¬ 
cating the number of Entry permits accorded. The I.C.R.C. is 
of the opinion that such a statement would impress the Hungarian 
Government as the visible sign of a favourable reaction to their 
decision to cease the persecution of the Jews also on this side. 
Moreover, the possibility of an eventual withdrawal of the 
concession granted would be made difficult by a public declara¬ 
tion, as suggested above, which would at the same time also 
forestall to attempt on the part of the countries of emigration 
to throw the blame for an eventual failure on the countries of 

The I.C.R.C. would like to be informed whether the United 
States Government would be willing to transmit and support this 
proposal to the Governments of the South American Republics or 
whether the I.C.R.C. should do so directly. 

- 770 - 

The I.C.R.C. rtswres the right to issue s ccsBBuniqus 
concerning this proposal, nbich has s i ilta rv aoualy been sub¬ 
mitted to the Gcnrarnnent of Great Britain. 



Alfred B. Zollinger 
Delegate, I.C.R.C. 


CCS nr. Richard Allen 

- 771 - 








Secretary of State* Washington 
American Embassy, London 
July 28, 1944 


From the Department and the War Refugee Board. 

The substance of a message from Amlegation Bern is as follows: 

QUOTE A note from the Foreign Office, dated yester¬ 
day, states that according to a telegram from the Swiss 
Legation at Budapest, authorization has been given by the 
Government of Hungary for the departure of all Jews from 
Hungary who hold entry permits for another country, including 

This same message states that transit through occupied 
territories will be permitted by the German Government. As 
soon as possible the Swiss Legation, in collaboration with 
the Palestinian Bureau, Budapest, will take necessary 
measures for evacuation. It is probable that Hungarian 
police passports will constitute travel documents. UHQUOTX 

This Government is authorising its consular officers in neutral 
countries to issue Immigration visas to every person who had been in 
enemy-controlled areas since December 8, 1941, to whom an American 
immigration visa was issued of for whom such visa was authorized 
on or after July 1, 1941, the date when present regulation and 
security-checking system went into effect, provided such person is 
not affirmatively found to have become disqualified for a visa or 
to have been the subject of a subsequent adverse report. The issuance 
of such visas is, in the discretion of consular officers, not subject 
to the interdepartmental review procedure. Visas are to be issued, 
of course, only when such persons arrive in neutral countries. This 
Government is requesting the Swiss Government to advise the German, 
Hungarian, Rumanian, and Bulgarian Governments as well as such 
authorities as there may be in Slovakia of the substance of the 
foregoing and to request the release to neutral countries of 
persons holding American visas or for whom American visas were 
authorized on or after July 1, 1941. The Governments of Switzerland, 
Spain, Sweden, Portugal, and Turkey are being requested to permit 
the entry of such persons, upon the assurance that they will be 
adequately maintained and that arrangements will be made for the 
evacuation of all such persons admitted into their territories who 
may be found not (repeat not) to be qualified for the issuance of 
such visas. Such governments are also being requested to advise 

- 772 - 

O-emany and Germany* s allies of their willingness to receive such 

The Turkish Government is also being requested to advise enemy 
governments of its willingness either to issue transit visas to all 
persons in en^my-controlled areas holding Palestine certificates or 
to admit such persons into Turkey in transit to Palestine without 
the formal Issuance of visas. 

In further response to message from Amlegatlon Bern, the substance 
of which is quoted above, this Government is prepared to advise the 
Hungarian and neutral governments that all Jews arriving in neutral 
countries from Hungary will be afforded havens in United Nations 
territory Just as promptly as military considerations permit, neutral 
governments to be given adequate assurances as to the maintenance of 
such persons in the meantime and to be sequested to advise the Hungarian 
Government of their willingness to receive such persons. Please 
endeavor to ascertain from the Foreign Office whether the Government 
of the United Kingdom will join this Government in this attempt to 
save lives. American missions in neutral countries are being instructed 
to take appropriate action along these lines in collaboration with 
their British colleagues if possible, alone if necessary. Since 
time ii of the essence, British missions should be advised of Foreign 
Office views promptly. 

Please keep Department and Board advised. 

Please advise Sir Herbert Emerson of the Intergovernmental 
Committee of the foregoing and endeavor to ascertain from him some 
indication as to the extent to which IGC funds may be available for 
the maintenance of such refugees from Hungary as may arrive in 
neutral countries following such approaches. The War Befugee Board 
would appreciate as early a response to this inquiry as possible. 

Under all of the circumstances it might prove tragic if the 
fullest advantage of the present opportunity were not (repeat not) 
taken. Consequently, you are requested urgently to propose to the 
Foreign Office the necessity of immediately making available to Jews 
In Hungary Palestine certificates in substantial additional numbers. 

In this connection, the possibility should not be overlooked that 
once the holders of such additional certificates arrive in Turkey 
or Spain, they may be routed to havens other than Palestine if cir¬ 
cumstances should be deemed to preclude their entry into Palestine. 
Please advise the Department and Board of such views as the Foreign 
Office might express. 



- 773 - 




FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 


DATE: August 2, 1944 

NUMBER: 2657 


With reference to offer of Hungarian Government to permit 
departure of Jews from Hungary (your 4604 July 19) you are advised 
that the British Ebbassy here presented on July 26 two cables from 
the British Foreign Office suggesting that the matter of surveying 
and coordinating possible places of refuge for the Jews from Hungary 
be referred to the Intergovernmental Committee. The cables also 
stated that the possibility of receiving refugees in Palestine were 
limited and would have to be reviewed and also that the capacities 
of the camps at Casablanca and Fhilippville in Algiers would need 
to be re-studied. The Department and the War Refugee Board on 
July 31 presented a memorandum for the British Embassy suggesting 
that the responsibility for dealing with the Hungarian offer rests 
on the British and United States Governments particularly and ex¬ 
pressing the judgment that the Intergovernmental Committee cannot 
act in time to be effective because of the need of consulting other 
governments. Included in the memorandum to the British Embassy was 
the following draft of a proposed cable to Bern with the request 
that the British Government concur in its transmission to Beni by 
August 7, 1944, at the latest. 

QUOTE Amlegatlon Bern. The following communication 
been received by the Department from the delegate in the 
United States of the International Committee of the Red 
Cross. INNERQUOTE We have received today the following 
communication from ICRC in Geneva: 

The Hungarian Government is willing to make possible 
the emigration of certain categories of Jews and has ad¬ 
vised the ICRC of its readiness in this respect. 

Very obviously from the viewpoint of maintaining the 
principle of neutrality, which in effect is based on reci¬ 
procity, the ICRC feels that the number of emigrant Jews 
to be admitted to the United States should be substantial¬ 
ly increased, and that a corresponding number of entry 
permits should be accorded. 

It would, furthermore, be desirable if the United 
States Government would make a public statement on this 
subject, indicating the number of entry permits accorded. 

The ICRC is of the opinion that such a statement would 
impress the Hungarian Government as the visible sign of 

- 774 - 

a favorable reaction to their decision to cease the 
persecution of the Jews also on this side. Moreover, 
the possibility of an eventual withdrawal of the con¬ 
cession granted would be made difficult by a public dec¬ 
laration, as suggested above, which would at the sane 
ties also forestall an attempt on the part of the coun¬ 
tries of emigration to throw the blame for an eventual 
failure on the countries of immigration. 

The ICRC would like to be informed whether the 
United States Government would be wil lin g to transmit 
support this proposal to the Governments of the 
South American Republics or whether the ICRC should do 
so directly. 

The ICRC reserves the right to issue a communique 
concerning this proposal, which has simultaneously been 
submitted to the Government of Great Britain. END 

You should at once request the International Com¬ 
mittee of the Red Cross to advise the Hungarian Govern¬ 
ment as follows: 

INNERQUOTE The United States Government has learned 
through the ICRC of the Hungarian Government's willing¬ 
ness to permit the emigration from Hungary of certain 
categories of Jews. This Government, despite the sub¬ 
stantial difficulties and responsibilities involved, has 
consistently made clear its determination to take all 
practicable steps to rescue victims of religious or polit¬ 
ical oppression. In view of the overwhelming humanitarian 
considerations Involved concerning the Jews in Hungary, 
this Government now repeats specifically its assurance 
that it will arrange for the care of all Jews permitted 
to leave Hungary in the present circumstances who reach 
neutral or United Nation's territory, and will find for 
such people temporary havens of refuge where they may 
live in safety. These assurances have been communicated 
to the governments of neutral countries who have been 
requested to permit the entry of Jews who reach their 
borders from Hungary. This Government now awaits infor¬ 
mation concerning the concrete steps to be taken by the 
Hungarian Government to carry out its proposal. END 

The above-mentioned proposal has also been addressed 
to the British Government which is taking parallel aotion. 
Accordingly, you may wish to Join with your British col¬ 
league in conveying to the International Committee of the 
Red Cross this expression of joint action. 

- 775 - 

Tou should indicate to the International Committee 
of the Bed Cross the opinion of this Government that in 
▼lee of the above assurances It Is considered unnecessary 
to consult the governments of the 3outh American Republics 
at this tine* 

It Is urgent that the International Committee of the 
Red Cross convey the foregoing representations to the Gov¬ 
ernment of Hungary without delay* The cooperation of the 
International Committee of the Red Cross In this matter 
is appreciated* 

Please advise prom ptly of the results of the action 
taken by you. TOQUOTE. 

In order to prevent any possible misunderstanding, it is re¬ 
peated that the foregoing draft cable to Bern Is now before the 
British Government for clearance and concurrence and Is sent to 
you solely for your Information and understanding at this time* 
Until you are specifically requested to do so, you are not (re¬ 
peat not) to take the action suggested In the cable* However, 
in the meantime you are authorised to advise the ICRC Informally 
that the British and United States Governments are In consultation 
on the natter and that a reply will be forthcoming shortly to the 
ICRC note* 

Repeated to London, as 6096, referring to Embassy^ 5956 
July 27, 




- 776 - 




FROM: Secretary of State, Washington* 

WO: American Legation, Bern 

DATED: August 7, 1944. 

NUMBER: 2715 


The following siessage has been repeated, only for information, 
to London, dated August 7, Number 6234* 

Please refer to message dated August 2, Number 2657, from the 
Department, which was repeated as Number 6096 to London* 

Tou are directed, lacking other instructions which in the meantime 
may be sent you, to send on August 11 to Intercross the text of the 
reply which was transmitted to you for your information in message 
from the Department, Number 2657* 

Immediately upon receipt of this message you should notify Inter¬ 
cross that on the 11th of August you will deliver a response to this 
communication regarding the so-called Horthy offer* • 

Being considered by the British Government at the present time 
is the matter of the reply of the British Government, to be made to 
Intercross. Deference to the British Government, which requested a 
postponement for three or four days, caused the delay in delivering 
the reply of this Government from the 7th to the 11th of August* 

It is hoped by this Government that before the 11th of August your 
British associate will have received from London instructions that are 
similar, but in any case the delivery of the reply of this Government 
is not to be postponed beyond the 11th of August* 

It is the intention here to make public the message from Intercross, 
and the reply of this Government to that message, as soon as the reply 
of this Government, referred to in preceding paragraphs, has been delivered 
by you* This intention has not been communicated to the British Govern^ 


- 777 - 



To be sent in Secret "W" 
July 28, 1944 

10 p.m. 

War Refugee Board 





Distribution of 
true reading only 
by special arrangement. 

The following from Department and Board is War Refugee 
Boafd cable 58. 

1. There follows the substance of a message received from 
Amlegation Bern: 

QUOTE A note from the Foreign Office, dated yesterday 
states that according to a telegram from the Swiss Legation 
at Budapest, authorization has been given by the Government 
of Hungary for the departure of all Jews from Hungary who 
hold entry permits for another country. Including Palestine. 

This same message states that transit through occupied 
territories will be permitted by the German Government. As 
soon as possible the Swiss Legation, in collaboration with 
the Palestinian Bureau, Budapest, will take necessary meas¬ 
ures for evacuation. It is probably that Hungarian police 
passports will constitute travel documents. UNQUOTE 

2. There are a number of persons in enemy controlled areas 
to wham American Visas were issued on and after July 1, 1941, the 
date when present existing procedures and security checks became 
effective, who, by reason of transportation difficulties and the 
advent of war, were unable to make effective use of such visas. 

It is believed that a large proportion of such persons are among 
those groups subject to enemy persecution. In the belief that 
the availability of new American visas for such persons may. save 
their lives, the Swiss Government is being requested to advise 
enemy governments that American consular officers in neutral 
countries have been authorized to issue an immigration visa to 
any person to whom an American immigration visa was issued or 
for whom a visa was authorized on or after July 1, 1941 and who 
has been in areas controlled by Germany or any of Germany*s 
allies since December 8, 1941, provided that such person presents 

- 778 - 

himself to an American consular officer in a neutral country 
and is found not to have become disqualified for the issuance 
of a visa. 

Accordingly, American consular officers in Sweden are hereby 
authorized to issue new American immigration visas to any such 
person to whom an American visa was issued or for whom such 
visa was authorized after July 1, 1941, provided that (a) such 
person other than a child under 16 years of age is found upon 
telegraphic reference to the Department for security check not 
to be the subject of an adverse report dated subsequent to the 
previous approval, (b) such person is not affirmatively found 
by the consul to be inadmissible into the United States under 
the law, or (c) the consul does not consider that the case is 
one which should be recommended for consideration under the 
committee procedure. 

Please advise appropriate Swedish officials of the foregoing 
authorization and attempt to secure their prompt agreement to 
advise enemy governments of Sweden's willingness to permit the 
entry into Sweden, with or without transit visas, of all persons 
to whom American immigration visas were issued on or subsequent 
to July 1, 1941* You may assure such officials that any such 
persons so admitted will be adequately maintained and that any 
who may be found not (repeat not) to be qualified for the 
issuance of a visa will be evacuated as promptly as possible. 
Detailed instructions in connection with the issuance of new 
American immigration visas pursuant to the foregoing authority 
will follow promptly. The same request is being made of Switzer¬ 
land, Turkey, Spain, and Portugal, and Sweden. 

3. There follows the substance of the pertinent portion of 
a message to Amembassy London: 

QUOTE In further response to message from Amlegation 
Bern, the substance of which is quoted above, this Government 
is prepared to advise the Hungarian and neutral governments 
that all Jews arriving in neutral countries from Hungary will 
be afforded havens in United Nations territory just as 
promptly as military considerations permit, neutral govern¬ 
ments to be given adequate assurances as to the maintenance 
of such persons in the meantime and to be requested to 
advise the Hungarian Government of their willingness to 
receive such persons. Please endeavor to ascertain from 
the Foreign Office whether the Government of the United 
Kingdom will join this Government in this attempt to save 
lives. American missions in neutral countries are being 

- 779 - 

Instructed to take appropriate action along these 
lines in collaboratioi with their British colleagues 
if possible, alone if necessary'. Since tine is of 
the essence, British Missions should be advised of 
Foreign Office views promptly. UNQUOTE. 

Accordingly, you are requested to consult with your British 
colleague and either in collaboration with his or alone, as 
the circumstances may develop, approach appropriate officials 
of the Swedish Government with the request that Sweden advise 
the Hungarian Government that it is prepared to receive Jews 
released by amgary and permitted to go to Sweden. You may 
assure appropriate Swedish officials that if Sweden so advises 
the Hungarian Oovernmant, Jews arriving in Sweden from Hungary 
will be evacuated to United Nations territory as promptly as 
possible and that in the meantime the United States will 
undertake to make arrangements for their maintenance and support 
in Sweden, You should inform the Department and the Board 
promptly of the results of your consultation with your British 
colleague and your approach to the Swedish Government* 

4# Please keep Department and Board currently advised 
of all developments and any difficulties you may encounter. 


- 780 - 



Secretary of State, 
US Urgent 
6609, Sixteenth. 



Dated August 16, 1944 
Rec v d 2:45 p.m. 

Confidential for the War Refugee Board from Dubois. 

The following is the exact text of the joint declaration 
agreed upon by the British Government. 

intercross has communicated to the Governments of the 
United Kingdom and the United States an offer of the Hungarian 
Government regarding the emigration mid treatment of Jews. 
Because of the desperate plight of the Jews in Hungary and the 
ove? whelming humanitarian considerations involved the two 
governments are informing the Government of Hungary through 
Intercross that, despite the heavy difficulties and responsi¬ 
bilities involved, they have accepted the offer of the Hungarian 
Go eminent for the release of Jews and will make arrangements 
for the care of such Jews leaving Hungary who reach neutral or 
United Nations territory, and also that they will find temporary 
havens or refuge where such people may live in safety. Notifi¬ 
cation of these assurances is being given to the governments 
of neutral countries who are being requested to permit the 
entry of Jews who reach their frontiers from Hungary. The 
Governments of the United Kingdom and the United States 
emphasize that, in accepting the offer which has been made, 
they do not in any way condone the action of the Hungarian 
Government in forcing the emigration of Jews as an alternative 
to persecution and death. 


- 781 - 








Secretary of State, Washington 
Auerlean Legation, Bern 
August 21, 1944 


For McClelland: 

Refer paragraph narked 4, Department's 2605 of July 28, WEB 1 * 


The authorization given to consular officers In Switzerland by 
the Department's 891 of March 18 and Department's 2236 of July 3 
Is hereby amended to Include authorization to Issue such visas to 
refugee children arriving in Switzerland from Hungary. For Issuance 
through October, the additional nonpreference quota Immigration 
numbers given below were alloted to Zurich: Hungarian, 72 to 176 

Please advise appropriate Swiss officials and make all appropriate 
efforts to arrange for the release to Switzerland from Hungary of children 
who may be eligible for the issuance of such visas. 

This is WEB Bern Cable No. 122. 


- 782 - 




This telegram must be 

August 12, 1944 
8 p.m. 

paraphrased before being 
comnunioated to an/one 
other than a Government 
agency. (RESTRICTED) 




Reference previous conmmications regarding refugee children. 

In view of the situation in Hungary and the recent statement 
by Admiral Hot thy that his Government would grant exit permits to, 
and suspend deportations of, all Jewish children for wham havens 
may be provided caitside Hungary, would you request the government 
to which you are accredited to extend its acceptance in principle 
to children from Hungary as well as from France. 

You may assure appropriate officials of that government that 
no detailed plans have as yet been developed for the actual im¬ 
migration of refugee children into its country. Siould such plans 
become necessary at a later date, they will not (repeat not) be 
developed without previous consultation with the government to 
which you are accredited. 


/Repeated to Ottawa, Ciudad Trujillo, Dublin, San Salvador, 
Guatemala, Tegucigalpa, Managua, Asuncion, and 

- 783 - 






Dated August 15, 1944 
Hec'd 9:30 a.m. 

This telegram mutt be 
paraphrased before being 

communicated to anyone 
other than a Government 
agency. (Restricted) 

Secretary of State, 


131, August 15, 1 a.m. 

Reference is made to Departments circular telegram August 12, 
8 p.m. concerning refugee children. 

Irish Government in principle extends its offer of refuge to 
children from Hungary as well as from France. 


- 724 - 







Ciudad Trujillo, D.R., September 5, 1944 

No. 294 

Subject: Reply of Dominican Government to Proposal 
to Accept Refugee Children 

The Honorable, 

The Secretary of State, 
Washington, D.C. 


I have the honor to refer to the Department* s circular telegram 
of August 12, 1944, 8 p.m. and to previous correspondence regarding 
orphaned or abandoned children and to my airgram No. A-401 of August 21, 
1944, 10:30 a.m. stating that the Dominican Foreign Minister had in¬ 
formed the Embassy that the Dominican Government had no objection in 
principle to including refugee children from Hungary as well as from 
France. I am enclosing a translation of a note of August 31, 1944, 
from the Foreign Minister, Lie. M. A. Pena Batlle confirming his oral 
communication of August 18, 1944, stating that the Dominican Govern¬ 
ment would also accept children from Hungary. 

Respectfully yours. 
For the Ambassador 

Andrew E. Donovan, II 
Second Secretary of Embassy 


Note of August 31 $ 1944 

- 785 - 

Enclosure No. 1 to accompany despatch No. 294 of September 5. 194/ 
from the American Embassy, Ciudad Trujillo, D. R. 


Mr. Ambassador: 

„ * have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your attentive note 

No. 89 dated August 14 of the present year regarding the efforts to 
care for orphan children abandoned in Europe by which Tour Excellency 
informed my chancellery that the Department of State had informed 
you that in view of the situation in Hungary and the recent declara- 
ticn of Admiral Horthy that his government would suspend the depor¬ 
tation of and grant exit permits to all Jewish children offered 
asylum outside Hungary and would appreciate it if you could be ad¬ 
vised' if the Dominican Government would desire to extend its offer 
in principle to children from Hungary as well as to the children 
from France. 

Your Excellency adds In the note referred to that detailed 
plans on the immigration of refugee children to the Dominican 
Republic have not yet been developed and that in the event it should 
later be necessary to develop such plans it would not be done with¬ 
out previously consulting my government. 

I am honored to inform Your Excellency that as the Dominical 
Government did not make a distinction in the nationality of the 
children which it would receive there is not inconvenience that 
they should also proceed from Hungary. 

I take this opportunity to reiterate to Your Excellency assur¬ 
ance of ay highest and most distinguished consideration. 

M. Pena Batlle 

- 736 - 




This telegram must be 
paraphrased before being 


DATED: August IB, 1944 
RBC'D 5:12 p.m. 

communicated to anyone 
other than a Government 
Agency, (Restricted) 

Secretary of State, 


267, August 15, Hoon* 

Answer to Department's circular telegram of August 12, 8 p.m. 
is that Honduras consents* 



Refugee Children 

- 787 - 



HIS - 706 

This telegram must be 
paraphrased before being 
communicated to anyone 
other than a Government 
agency. (Restricted) 

Secretary of State 

538, August 28, 4 p.m. 

Foreign Office In note dated August 25, 1944, states that it 
has no objection to the 100 Yisas authorized for refugee children 
(see my 271, May 5, 4 p.m.) being issued to either Hungarian or 
French children. Reference Department's circular telegram of August 
12, 8 p.m. 


DATED: August 28, 1944 
RIC'D: ?i58 p.m. 


- 788 - 




This telegram must be 
paraphrased before being 
communicated to anyone 


DATE): September 5, 1944 
BBC'D: 7*35 p•£• 

other than a Government 
Agency. (Restricted) 

Secretary of State, 


503, September 5, 3 p.ns. 

Paraguayan Government is willing to extend its acceptance in 
principle and with the same conditions to children from Hungary 
(reference Department^ circular telegram August 12, 8 p.mT) but 
suggests the convenience of leaving an interval after the shipment 
of French children in order to ascertain what additional number 
can usefully be accepted. 


- 739 - 




This telegram must be 
paraphrased before being 


DATED September 15, 1944 
REC'D 1:39 p.m. 

communicated to anyone 
other than a Government 
Agency. (Restricted) 

Secretary of State,, 


908, September 16, 10 a.m. 

Ecuadoran Government has indicated it would be able to accept 
approximately 300 children (reference Department*s telegram No. 680 
and Embassy*s despatch No. 2053 of August 10 and August 29, respective¬ 
ly). Text of communication received from the Foreign Office is being 
sent by airmail pouch. 


- 790 - 




FROM: American Uknbasey, London 
TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: September 8, 1944 
NUMBER: 7393 


The Embassy has been advised by the Director of IOC that the 
Brazilian Ambassador in London has informed him that Brazil is ready 
to accept 500 Jewish refugee children from Hungary who may be allowed 
to leave Hungary. However, the Government of Brazil does not desire 
to assume any financial responsibility concerning upkeep or transport. 

The War Refugee Board should be informed. 


- 791 - 








Secretary of State, Washington 
American Legation, Bern 
August 23, 1944 


Cable to McClelland: 

Reference is made to yqur 4604 of July 19 and 5040 of 
August 5. 

1. In addition to taking action requested in Department’s 
2715 of August 7, please express to the Foreign Office the appre¬ 
ciation of this Government for the information contained in your 
4604 and 5040. In order that the Swies Government may be fully 
advised as to the attitude of this Government on this subject, 
you may make available to appropriate officials of the Foreign 
Office the text of the reply given by this Government on August 11 
to Intercross in accordance with Department’s 2657 of August 2 
and 2715 of August 7. 

Please request the Swiss Foreign Office to inform Hungarian 
authorities that although this Government has taken note of the 
communication reported in your 5040, it does not accept the reasoning 
therein contained and reserves the right to return at a later date 
to the purported facts therein related. Hungarian authorities 
should further be informed that the limited assurances contained in 
each communication serve only to prompt a reiteration of this Govern¬ 
ments warning that all those who share in the responsibility for the 
persecution of Jews and other minorities will be brought to justice. 
Hungarian authorities should also be informed that it is the Govern¬ 
ment’s strong view that the deportation of any category of Jews 
comes within the foregoing and that permission freely to emigrate 
and Red Cross supervision of treatment and living conditions must 
as a minimum be extended to all categories of Jews. 

2. A wide discrepancy is noted to exist between various com¬ 
munications and reports regarding Hungarian Government’s offer 
relating to treatment of Jews. For obvious reasons, this Government 
bases its position on version communicated through Swiss Foreign 
Office and contained in your 4604, and proposes to continue to do so. 
Nevertheless, it is anxious to ascertain the precise nature of the 
Hungarian offer and attitude. Please, therefore, without departing 
from the above stated position of this Government, make discreet 

and informal inquiries from such sources as are available to you 
concerning following principal uncertainties: 

- 792 - 

Have deportations been definitely stopped far 
all categories or only suspended, and if so, far hear 
long and for what categories? 

To What extent will Jews in Hungary be permitted 
and in fact enabled to procure food and other neces¬ 
sities through ordinary, commercial channels and aside 
from Intercross action? 

To what extent is it possible to expect that 
stoppage of deportations and other forms of actual 
danger to life would continue even in the absence of 
actual sizeable emigration of Jews from Hungary during 

To what extent is emigration to countries other 
than Palestine permitted to Jews over ten years of age? 

Could emigration be conducted in such a way as to 
prevent breaking up of families, with children under 
ten separated from parents? 

To what extent, in view of internal situation in 
Hungary, is it possible to count on Hungarian promises 
being made effective and continuing up to the termina¬ 
tion of hostilities? 

Please advise Department and Board as soon as possible of 
answers to any of above questions. 

3. In the light of military and political situation, it ap¬ 
pears here that main emphasis should be placed new on induclhg appro¬ 
priate Hungarian circles to maintain and strengthen the newly reported 
relaxation of Jewish regime in Hungary and to apply such relaxation 
to all categories of Jews in Hungary. Preventing deportations and 
assuring tolerable living conditions for all Jews in Hungary, if 
feasible, seems more important than assistance in clandestine escape 
of individuals and groups. Please advise of any information and 
developments on this point. 

4. With reference to 230 from jbnembassy London to you, the 
broad program envisaged above and in Departments 2657 might be 
jeopardized by limited scope of approach suggested by said 230 from 
London. Therefore, it is not (repeat not) thought advisable that you 
limit any of your demarches to children under ten and the supply 
problem which are the only items dealt with in 230 from London. 

But you are authorized, of course, to give the assurance concerning 
availability of supplies for Hungarian refugees through blockade in 
line with 230 from London. 

- 793 - 

Repeated to Amembassy London as No. 6725 with this opening 
sentence: For your information, cable of August 23, No, 2900, 
to Bern, repeated below. 

This is WRB Bern Cable No. 129 


- 794 - 



FROM: American Legation, Bern 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATE: September 30, 1944 

NUMBER: 6524 


Reference is made in the foil owing to the Department's 
September 21 telegram No. 3255. 

The Legation wishes to report in connection with second 
paragraph of message referred to above that, in accordance 
with instructions of the Department, it communicated to Inter¬ 
cross by letter the substance of numbered paragraphs one and 
two of the Department's August 19 cable No. 2853, numbered 
paragraph three thereof to Swiss Foreign Office for communi¬ 
cation to the authorities of Hungary. The reply which Inter¬ 
cross made to Legation's letter is sunmarized in Legation's 
September 3 cable No. 5796. According to Swiss note dated 
September 26 the Swiss Budapest Legation communicated to the 
Hungarian Government the substance of numbered paragraph 3 
of Department's telegram No. 2853, on the 6th of September. 

On the same date Hungarian Government was also advised by 
said Legation of substance of paragraph two under numbered 
section one of August 23 cable NO. 2900 from the Department. 

The Wilner Case mentioned in last paragraph of Depart¬ 
ment's cable under reference, which was also the subject of 
Department's September 2 cable No. 3038, is being taken up 
with Swiss authorities again by Legation. If cases involving 
individuals who claim U. S. nationality were made the sub¬ 
ject of separate instructions from the Department it would be 
most helpful to us. 



- 795 - 



FROM? Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: American Legation, Bern 

DATED: August 19, 1944 

NUMBER: 2853 



Following for McClelland: 

1 # Reference is made to your 5040 of August 5 section 3 near 


Die following is the substance of similar information con¬ 
tained in note of Hungarian Legation, Stockholm, to Swedish For¬ 
eign Office: QUOTE It was further ordered that future deportees 
for labor service will have right of supervision by Hungarian Red 
Cross representatives in order to avoid further charges of bru¬ 
tality* UNQUOTE 

2* In view of issue involved, i*e*, possible extermination 
of 400,000 Jews already said to have been deported, please suggest 
to Intercross the urgency of contacting Hungarian authorities and 
Hungarian Red Cross with a view to establishing immediate super¬ 
vision of Red Cross over all camps to which Jews from Hungary have 
been deported in the past as well* 

3* Please request Swiss Foreign Office to transmit to appro¬ 
priate Hungarian officials a message in the following vein: QUDTE 
With further reference to Hungarian communication (referred to in 
your 5040 of August 5), the Government of the United States notes 
the explanation contained in said communication regarding Jews de¬ 
ported from Hungary to the effect that they have been INNERQUOTE 
placed at disposal of German Government as workers as was case 
for years for tens of thousands of workers of Hungarian nation¬ 
ality and Christian faith* END OF INNERQUOTE 

In view of the policy of the German Government with regard 
to Jews, which the U. S # Government assumes is well-known to 
Hungarian Government, the Government of the United States would 
appreciate a statement of such measures which have been taken 
and are being taken by Hungarian authorities to insure hu man e 
treatment of Jews placed at Germany^ disposal and to safeguard 
them against starvation and other forms of persecution* 

Die Hungarian authorities will readily perceive that unless 
such measures are taken with respect to all Jews INNERQUOTE 
placed at disposal of German Government END OF INNERQUOTE the 
explanation offered would appear to be at utter variance with the 

- 796 - 

fact8 and any cases of abuse will be Imputed to those Hungarian 
anthorites responsible for placing such Jews at Germany^ dis¬ 

Prompt response to the inauiry herein made is being awaited 
by the Government of the United States with extraordinary in¬ 
terest. UNQUOTE Tou may, of course, in transmitting the fore¬ 
going to Swiss Foreign Office adjust language in your discretion. 

This is WHB Cable to Bern No. 130. 


- 797 - 



FROM: American Legation, Bern. 

TO: Secretary of State, mshingtcn. 

DATED: September 3# 1944* 

NUMBER: 5796 


Reference is made herewith to your cable of August 19, No. 2853. 
TOB's 130. * ’ 

It Is stated in Intercross response of August 31 that the Com¬ 
mittee is continuing to oppose the deportation of Jews from Hungary 
by every means in their power. 

Their wish to refrain from any share In the deportations, if 
only to obtain more tolerable means of transportation, is indicated 
by the desire that their attitude shall not be interpreted to mean 
participation in or approval of deportations. 

A fresh proposal has just been submitted by the Committee to 
the Hungarian Government and Jewish Senate Budapest in an effort to 
find means of extending the Committee's protection to Jews confined 
in camps or hoises in Hungary. *e will communicate the result 


- 793 - 



7R0M: Animation, Bern 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: October 18, 1944 

HUMBER: 6913 



There le transmitted in Swiss note of October 13 a copy of a note 
dated September 26 addressed to the Swiss Legation for the Hungarian 
foreign Office which contains a summary translation of the reply given 
below to the following! 

A. Department's 2853, dated August 19, paragraph three. 

A workers Supervisory Office has been established by the Hungarian 
Legation at Berlin to take care of Hungarian nationals who as workers 
were placed at the disposal of the Government of Germany. To every 
male and female worker of Hungarian nationality, regardless of 
religion or race the competence of this office extends. 

In addition. Dr. Robert Schirmer, permanent delegate of the 
International Red Cross at Berlin, was, pursuant to his request during 
his visit to Budapest in early August, informed that International 
Red Cross relief and humanitarian activities for those Jews placed cub 
workers at the disposal of the Government of Germany was also author¬ 
ized by Government of Hungary. 

The proposal to the Government of Germany that a representative 
of the International Red Cross be allowed to visit Hungarian Jews 
working in Germany was made by the Government of Hungary itself. 

B. Department's 2900, August 23, paragraph two, point one. 

It was ordered as soon as August 1944 that the transfer of Jews 
of Jewish faith for labor service abroad must definitely cease and no 
Jews have been put at the disposal of the German Government since 
that time* 

The Government of Hungary is ready to give authorization to 
emigrate to all categories of Jews. During Dr. Schirmer'6 above 
mentioned visit he was so advised of this. 

Consent has been given by the Government of Hungary for the 
International Red Cross organs to observe treatment of Jews and their 
living conditions. During the last of July and the beginning of 
August of 1944, Dr. Schirmer has exercised this control and since then 
the International Red Cross delegate at Budapest, Dr. Eriedrichborn 
has done so. 


- 799 - 


PABAPKRA.SE op telegram received 



$ 0 : 



Secretary of State, Washington 
August 22, 1944 


An official of Sweden, who is thought identical with infor¬ 
mant of Count Bernadette mentioned in my message number 3166 of 
the sixteenth of August, has given the Legation additional detail 
v.'ith regard to the location near Budapest where he witnessed Jews 
herded for deportation into boxcars. 

The location was Budakalasz in an old brick yard. By the 
ruthless demeanor of Hungarian gendarmes the informant was par¬ 
ticularly impressed. SBhey were described by him as bloodthirsty 
a ® the Gestapo of Germany. Jews, old, young and children, male 
and female-, were herded into boxcars by gendarmes who drove them 
on witn rifle butts and a whip was even used by one gendarme. 

From Jewish girls of Hungary now in Hamburg and other nlaces 
soldiers of Germany have brought back messages to Budapest to 
their friends. After having been deported from Hungary these girls 
have been turned over to German armed forces and wear armbands in¬ 
scribed war harlot ("kriegshure 11 ). 

In provincial Hungary, camps of Jews were emtied before a 
halt was made to deportations by officials of Hungary. As a rule 
while the camps wetfo still operating they were managed by Hungarian 
personnel aided by ?ji SS advisor thought competent in giving in¬ 
structions in competent managing of Jews to the Hungarians. 


- 800 - 



TROMi Secretary of State, Washington 

TOi American Legation, Bern 

BATED: August 25, 1944 

HUMBER: 2933 



This is the substance of Information received by this Government 
from a thoroughly reliable eye-witness: 

QUOTE Approximately 20,000 Hungarian Jews, children, 
men and women, had been concentrated in the open air for 
4 or 5 days with nothing even to sit on except the ground. 

They had been herded into boxcars 80 persons per car, the 
car then nailed up and sent off to foreign destinations. 

The people are packed in the cars like sardines with no 
possibility of sitting or even moving. Many must have 
been dead on arrival. The people handling this affair 
were not Germans but Hungarian Gendarmes. UNQJGOTE 

This report bears out others coming to this Government from 
different sources that in the main the Hungarian Police have themselves 
been the instrument for arresting and deporting Jews from Hungary 
under conditions which are tragically cruel. 

Please convey this information to Swiss Government for trans¬ 
mission to Hungarian authorities. These authorities are to be Informed 
that their comment regarding these reports, which this Government 
regards as authentic, is awaited with interest. 

For your confidential information, above reports reached De¬ 
partment from Amlegation Stockholm. 


- 801 - 




FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: American Legation, Bern 

DATE: October 3, 1944 

NUMBER: 3404 


To Minister Harrison and McClelland. 

Reference is made to your 6445 of September 28. 

You may state that our information contained in Depart¬ 
ment's 2933 of August 25 was received from a person connected 
with a neutral legation in Budapest. The place of the specific 
instance cited was an old brick yard in Budakalasz. The time 
of the occurrence is unknown, but seems rather immaterial, 
since the Hungarian Government denied that Hungarian officials 
ever participated in cruelties in connection with the deporta¬ 

For your confidential information, the Legation concerned 
is that of Sweden, and the incident was related to Olsen by 
Count Bemadotte, Chairman of Swedish Red Cross. 

This is WRB Bern cable No. 197. 




FROM: Amlegation, Bern 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: October 24 1944 

NUMBER: 7048 


Legation 1 8 6948, October 10, 1944. 

It is reported by Swiss that delivery of notification 
to Hungarian Foreign Office the eleventh of October. 


- 803 - 



This telegram must he 
paraphrased before being 
communicated to anyone 
other than a Government 
Agency* (SECRET-0) 

Secretary of State 

6619, October 5 f 6 a,m. 


I have received a number of reports lately dealing with most 
recent developments in situation of Jews in Slovakia and Hungary 
of which I consider following pertinent details would interest 



Dated October 5, 1944 
Rec’d 2:10 p*m* 

Report from Bratislava dated September 27 states that due to 
cooperation of various Jewish youth groups with Partisan Gestapo 
has instigated general concentration of all Jews in provinces* 

They are being mainly assembled at camp of Sered which was taken 
earlier in month by Partisans* About 500 Jews were liberated 
(but later recaptured by Germans*) Germans are also said to be 
concentrating Jews at Trencsin. About 1700 Jewish internees from 
camp at Novaky were recently liberated by Partisans who still con¬ 
trol this region* All Jews capable of bearing arms from Novaky 
have been enrolled in resistance units* 

According to report from Czech resistance operating in 
Slovakia dated September 19 Tito declared he had received "assur¬ 
ances 11 from Germans that Jews in provinces were simply being con¬ 
centrated but would "not be removed from Slovak territory"* This 
can scarcely be relied upon and telegram from responsible Jewish 
circles in Bratislava dated October 3 indicates that deportations 
from provinces (scale unknown) are already taking place* 

Situation in Bratislava itself while tense appears auiet as 
far as deportations are concerned and central Jewish office under 
direction Mrs* Fleischmann continues to function* Rescue activity 
now consists mainly in procuring false "Aryan" papers for and in 
hiding Jews* There is a certain volume of flight back to Hungary. 

I sent a further sum of 100,000 Swiss francs from WRB funds 
to support all such practical rescue activities with Coujier who 
left October 4 for Bratislava and Budapest* 

During his most recent interview with Kasztner, Biolitz and 
a new Gestapo Agent at Swiss German frontier on September 29 
Saly Mayer elicited unwilling assurances from German that no de¬ 
portations from Slovakia would take place as long as "negotiations" 

- 804 - 

continued* This seems to have been successful to date in any 
event as far as Jews in Bratislava are concerned* 

Status of Mayer's negotiations with Germans remains-very 
much as reported in Legation's 6110, September 16. Claiming that 
he did not have necessary technical qualifications for compiling 
list of goods Germans desired in Switzerland, Mayer again invited 
them to send representatives for this purpose here. It is how¬ 
ever still most doubtful that Swiss authorities will grant such 
visas, as presence Gestapo men Switzerland is highly distasteful 
to them. I have discussed matter informally with Swiss and Mayer 
is taking it up once more this week. By bluffing it has happily 
been possible to draw matters out another time although whole af¬ 
fair is becoming very strained. 

IXiring the recent interview Kasztner reported that as yet no 
movement of Jews out of Budapest (Legation's 6447, September 28) 
had begun. However notorious SS "Obersturmbann Fuehrer” Eichmann 
formerly of Lublic who along with his henchman ”Hauptsturm 
Fuehrer” Wislicony was responsible from German side for organiza¬ 
tion of mass deportation of Jews from Hungary in May and June has 
been transferred back to Budapest from Temesvar. His return at 
this time is most disquieting sign. 

Another report from Budapest dated September 13 received 
through representative of Hungarian resistance movement in Zurich 
indicates that it was possible during July and August (Legation's 
4394, July 11) to organize evacuation of some 7,000 Jewish men 
including the families of 400 from southern Hungary to partisan 
controlled Yugoslav territory. Men capable bearing arms have been 
enrolled Partisan forces those physically unsuited, women and 
children have been moved to interior but are living under ex¬ 
tremely primitive conditions. In attempt alleviate this situation 
have recently financed shipment of medical and sanitary supplies 
for these refugees. 



- 805 - 







No. 581/42 


3339 Massachusetts Avenue 
Washington, D. C. 

September 25, 1944 

Mr. John W. Pehle 
Director, War Refugee Board 
Executive Office of the President 
Washington, D. C. 

My dear Mr. Pehle s 

I have been just informed by the Holy See that according to 
a report _of the Apostolic Nuncio in Budapest the situation among 
the Jewish people of Hungary is now much less acute. This is at¬ 
tributed to the fact that the officials responsible for the atroc¬ 
ities previously committed have now been eliminated from power. 

It gives me pleasure to bring the foregoing to your know¬ 
ledge, and with sentiments of esteem, and every good wish, I re¬ 

Tours very sincerely, 



A. G. Cicognani 
Archbishop of Laodicea 
Apostolic Delegate 

- 806 - 




Distribution of true 
reading only by special 
arrangement. (SECRET W) 

Secretary of State, 


1546, August 23, 5 p.ra. 


Supplementing the Embassy^ 1514, August 18, which outlined 
the new arrangement relating to Turkish transit visas to he issued 
in Budapest, Constnnza and Burgas you are informed that the Bul¬ 
garian Government has offered (REDEPTEL 678, August 4) to allow 
the ships VITA and PIRIN to he used for the transport of refugees 
to Istanbul from Burgas. It is hoped that one of these ships will 
make a trip every ten days carrying refugees to whom transit visas 
have been granted by the Turkish Consuls* It was contemplated that 
the refugees who would be permitted to leave Bulgaria by rail to 
the number of 400 to 500 weekly would be transported by these two 
boats or other ones substituted for them* In view of the fact that 
a delay may occur in starting the operation of the boats Mr. Kelley 
has recuested the Turkish authorities during this interim period 
to make provision for the movement of the refugees by rail. His 
request has been granted 

This new arrangement represents a new departure by the Turk¬ 
ish authorities in respect to transit facilities through Turkey 
for refugees from the Balkans destined for Palestine* In our op¬ 
inion it is a broad concession since the arrangement lays the 
basis insofar as the Turks are concerned far very substantial res¬ 
cue work through this country* The arrangement is the successful 
culmination of the Boards efforts and of a series of representa¬ 
tions by Mr. Kelley to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on various 
aspects of the arrangement. The Embassy has also made representa¬ 
tions on certain phases of the arrangement. 

Also for your information while we are informed that Rumania 
has definitely agreed to provide transit facilities for refugees 
from Hungary, our efforts to secure a similar concession from the 
Bulgarian Government are still proceeding* Meanwhile we are ex¬ 
erting every endeavor to facilitate emigration in every way pos¬ 
sible under the arrangement* 

Despite the broad scope of the new arrangement complications 
arise so suddenly that the movement of refugees may continue to be 
delayed. It has been confirmed to us today by the International 


Dated August 23, 1944 
Rec*d 5 p.m., 24th 

- 807 - 

Red Cross that although 2195 Jews In Hungary have all their visas 
in order including transit visas the German authorities in Hungary 
have not yet granted permission for these people to depart. 

Tmrr iT ■ ny 

- 808 - 




PROM: American Legation, Bern 

TQ * Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: September 22, 1944 

HUMBER: 6276 


McClelland sends the following for the War Refugee Board, 

Reference is made herein to the Departments September 14 
cable Ho, 3185, 

A note dated September 8 from Swiss Pederal Political De¬ 
partment received by the British Legation at Bern and reporting 
substance of a conversation between an unnamed German Poreign 
Office official and Swiss Minister Peldscher at Berlin is the 
basis for the British Ministers telegram under reference. An ap¬ 
proach had been made to the Germans by Peldscher concerning emi¬ 
gration of same initial group of 2,000 Hungarian Jews from Hungary 
holding Palestine certificates for whom the Swiss Legation at 
Budapest issued a collective passport in late July, (Legation*s 
August 3 cable Ho, 4972 and August 5 cable Ho, 5043 mentioned this). 
The Germans replied, as British Minister*s telegram stated, that 
since the departure of these people for Palestine would disturb 
” German relations with Arabs” they could not permit these people 
to go. However, the German Poreign Office intimated to Peldscher 
( M a laisse entendre”) ”that if these Jews were going to American 
or British territory their departure would be viewed more favor¬ 
ably” (”envisagerait plus favorablement le depart, et cetera”). 
Consequently there is no question whatsoever of a concrete offer 
on the part of the German Government to permit such a group to 
depart if Allies agreed to accept them in either American or 
British territory but a vague statement only that ”more favorable 
consideration” would or might be given to such a proposal. In ad¬ 
dition the Swiss note reports very definite influence on decisions 
and plans of Gestapo and SS who are obviously, sofkr as the Ger¬ 
man Government is concerned, in control of the Jewish situation in 

The British Legation at Bern with whom I discussed this 
question is of the opinion that the Swiss Le^ -on at Budapest 
should not under aAy circumstances be requested to deliver to the 
Germans lists of Hungarian Jews and that transit of any group or 
groups of Jews through German-controlled territory at this par¬ 
ticular time would be, to say the least, an extremely hazardous 
undertaking. Unless real control by some such organ as ICRC could 
be assured permission for such transit if it wdre granted could 
scarcely be relied upon. It is the feeling of the British Legation 
here that the responsibility for recommending such a move could 
not be assumed by it. 

- 809 - 

In agreement with the point of view of the British I feel 
that it would he exceedingly dangerous to try to evacuate Hun¬ 
garian Jews through territory controlled by the Germans which, now 
t.iat exit by way of Bulgaria and Rumania is barred, is the only 
existing route. With respect to the eventuality of. the Germans at¬ 
tempting to hold the Allies responsible for not accepting an offer 
which it could hardly he said, after all, has been concretely made 
would on their part constitute pure casuistry. 

As an alternative an o’ffer might he made to the Germans 
via the Swiss to grant temporary haven in Allied territory to a 
group of 2,000 or more Hungarian Jews who did not have Palestine 
certificates and who did not plan to go to Palestine eventually as 
the Legation's August 26 cable Uo. 5579 suggested. Of course from 
the Jewish point of view this would raise very lcnotty problem of 
selection in Hungary of a non-Palestine group. The possibility 
exists for the British to declare formally that this group would not 
go to Palestine and the Germans' alleged objection to Palestine im¬ 
migration would thus be offset. It could be stated, if the Germans 
insisted on knowing the ultimate destination, that division of this 
group among various overseas countries of immigration was being 
actively arranged. It might be possible, in order to ease the prob¬ 
lem of settlement of such a group in the postwar, if this could be 
done without German suspicion being aroused, to select Hungarian 
Jews who desired to return to their country when the war is over. 

The idea of getting Jews out of Europe permanently is an obsession 
in certain Nazi circles and they will not tolerate the departure 
of those they feel may cone back again. 

An additional alternative of a more positive nature would be 
to make a concrete offer to admit a group of 1,000 or more Hungarian 
Jewish children into the United States, for instance, those whose 
parents have been deported in line with August 21 cable Ho. 2877 
from the Department. Pending possibility to evacuate such children 
to the United States they could possibly be conveyed under ICRC con¬ 
trol from Hungary for a temporary sojourn in Switzerland. 


- QIC - 







American Lection, Bern 
Secretary of State, Washington 
August 26, 1944 



McClelland sends the following for War Refugee Board. 

It was recommended by ICRC, in the course of recent conver¬ 
sations, that our Government in concert with the British Government 
indicate to the Government of Hungary its willingness to transport 
a certain number of Hungarian Jews whose removal is not based on pos¬ 
session of Palestine certificates and who do not plan to go to Pal¬ 
estine to some specified haven of refuge in Allied territory* It 
is felt by ICRC that such an offer might have a greater chance of 
success than the present proposals of emigration for Hungarian Jews 
to Palestine as it would offset German disapproval of Palestine emi¬ 
gration based on the alleged German wish not to endanger their good 
relations with Arabian Mufti. It is ICRC's opinion that such evac¬ 
uation could best be effected via Rumania as a more practical and 
safer route than transit German-controlled territory to come to 
Switzerland. I fSel that the proposal is worth a trial since it 
has definite points in its favor and it would involve Hungarian 
Jews who would ultimately wish to return to their country. In this 
regard, the Boards attention is called to Tangier*s offer of five 
hundred entry visas. 

In line with Legation*s cable of August 19, number 5397, we 
strongly recommend that propaganda pressure on the Government of 
Hungary be maintained. The Government of Hungary is showing a ten¬ 
dency to "relax on its laurel* following its "generous" offer to 
permit Jews to emigrate, meanwhile passively allowing the Germans 
to .carry out a further deportation of people who after all are 
Hungarian nationals. Fact such acquiescence constitutes common 
guilt with Germans for which the Hungarians also will be held re¬ 
sponsible after the war. This sort would also strengthen the hand 
of those Hungarians of good will in the country who from the start 
have opposed such Jewish persecution. Use of Hungarian language 
pamphlets as well as radio warnings are commended by competent 
Hungarian circles here. 


- 811 - 

document 210 


FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: American Legation, Bern 

DATED: September 9 f 1944 

NUMBER: 3120 



Reference is made to your 5579 of August 26, paragraph one. 

You may draw attention of Intercross to text of this Government 1 s 
reoly to Intercross of August 11 (see Departments 2657 of August 
2) in which it undertook to arrange for the tearo of all Jews per¬ 
mitted to leave Hungary under the present circumstances, who reach 
neutral or United Nations 1 territory, and to find for them temporary 
havens of refuge. Nothing in that reply implied limitation to Jews 
in possession of Palestine certificates or planning to go to Pales¬ 

Furthermore, you may draw attention of Intercross to special 
provisions made in favor of persons to whom American immigration 
visas were issued or authorized after July 1, 1941 (Department 1 s 
2605 of August l); to extension of children* 1 8 visa facilities to 
Jewish children from Hungary (Department 1 s 2877 of August 2l); 
to provisions in favor of close relatives of American citizens and 
alien residents (Departments 2918 of August 24); and to assurances 
obtained by this Government from Ireland and Honduras in favor of 
children from Hungary (Departments 2978 of August 29, WK3 151 to Bern)* 
In addition, Nicaragua has agreed to admit 100 children from Hungary, 
and Mexico has expressed its willingness to give emergency shelter 
to refugees from enemy territory for duration of war. 

The cooperation of Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, and 
Turkey has also been requested by this Government in respect of ad¬ 
mission of any Jews who would be permitted to leave Hungary, and these 
requests have been partly successful. Spain alone lias authorized 
2*000 visas* Sweden is reported to have agreed to admit children, 
numerous adults, and persons to whom American visas were issued or 
authorized after July 1, 1941, Rumania is also cooperating, but 
current events on Hungarian-Rumanian border presumably preclude evac¬ 
uation via Rumania. 

Pointing out the foregoing to Intercross, you may reiterate 
this Governments refusal ever to limit its undertakings with re¬ 
spect to the emigration of Jews from Hungary to any number or par¬ 
ticular category of Jews or to Jews going to any particular country 

- 812 - 

and its protest against the attempt of German and Hungarian authori¬ 
ties to introduce such arbitrary limitations. 

Recommendation contained in last paragraph of your 5579 is ap¬ 
preciated and is being acted upon. 


- 813 - 



FROM: American Legation, Bern 

TCs Secretary/ of State, Washington 

DATE! : September 15, 1944 

NUMBER: 6093 



The following message is from McClelland for WEB. 

With reference to ny 6015, dated September 12, 1944, during 
the past fortnight we have received reports, which have been con¬ 
firmed by Kasztner in late talks with Saly Mayer, that the Govern¬ 
ment of Hungary is planning to take the disposition given below 
with respect to above 200,000 Jewish individuals remaining in 
Hungary, in Budapest mainly* 

1* Every physically able bodied man and woman will be placed 
in compulsory work in agriculture and industry in various parte of 
nation in the interests of national defense. 

2. As early as August 24, preparations were being made to es¬ 
tablish two large camps having a combined capacity of 120,000 in - 
dividuals for all Jews from Budapest who were not suited for work 
from a physical standpoint. In this connection, Kasztner declared 
that such camps were to be placed under military control, while 
late press reports issuing from Budapest write of supervision by 
the Red Cross. It is not specified whether such supervision is in¬ 
ternational or Hungarian, although on September 12 ICRC informed 
me they possessed no details with respect to this arrangement. 
However, it appears improbable that ICRC will be in a position to 
exercise any effective degree of control over these camps, because 
of continued failure on the part of the Germans to issue transit 
visas for ICRC personnel from Switzerland, even though both Saly 
Mayer and I have made the suggestion that they contemplate appoint¬ 
ing as their delegates certain responsible Swiss citizens living 

in Budapest. It seems that there is little doubt that the Jews 
themselves in Hungary will be asked to render financial assistance 
in establishing camps under this plan. 

3. Every infirm and old person who is not' able to even go to 
camps will be grouped in unspecified localities in "Jewish hospit¬ 
als. w 

The following is for your confidential information: Kasztner 
declared that about 200,000 Jewish persons stayed in Hungary in 
Budapest principally; 360,000 others had been deported and the 
Gestapo in Budapest admitted they head been exterminated; and finally 
160,000 were in labor service outside Hungary (alive presumably) at 
several localities in German controlled territory (Lobau Mauthausen, 
Strasshof and Resensu in Austria were mentioned.) 


- 814 - 



FSCit: Secretary of State, Washington 

20; American Legation, Bern 

DATED: October 6, 1944 

UH33R: 3435 



To Minister Harrison and McClelland. 

Reference your 6447 of September 28, 

(1) The 0. W. I. is informed of the situation. 

(2) Please recuest the cooperation of the Swiss Foreign Of¬ 
fice in conveying the sense of the following message to appro¬ 
priate Hmg^an authorities. You should also employ such unof¬ 
ficial channels as may he available to you to the same en . 

QUOTE The Government of the United States has learned of the 
nlan of Hungarian authorities to remove the Jews still remaining 
in Budapest to putative work camps in the provinces, 
the fate of Jews who wore removed in previous months from other 
cities to similar camps, and in view of the approach of winter, 
the Government of the United States has good reaso:n to : re f®* d 
■ore^ent nlan as a further measure of mass extermination, for mass 
extermination may be accomplished either by the methods employed 
af cSis of final destination in Poland, or by subjecting large 
numbers of neonle to under-nourishment, hard physical labor and 
unhygienic living conditions in improvised camps. Consequently, 
the United States Government considers it appropriate o remn 
Hungarian authorities of its determination, ~ 

President of the United States on March 2 4 , that im^U 0 TE none 

who participate in these acts of savagery shall go 

All who share the guilt shall share the punishment. CLOSE IHHER- 

qjJDTE. This determination was publicly reaffirmed on -®y . 

June 28 by members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and 

the^Iouse of 6 Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, respec- 


QUOTE The Government of the United States, however,: re ^“ 
nizes the possibility that the present plan in fact may have been 
evolved to" achieve genuine^humanitarian ends as has been claW 
by various Hungarian authorities. To the extent that the plan, 
if S in option, may achieve such ends the OovcrnmenVof the 
United States will, of course, recognize the validity J a £h 
claims On the other hand, should the removal o - ^ .. 

Budapest to provincial camps be but a prelude to 
removal to extermination centers or otherwis 

- 815 - 

deaths, Hungarian authorities are fully apprised of the attitude 
of the people and Govomment of the United States. U1TQUDTE. 

(3) Please advise the Department and Board of the action 
taken by you. 

7or your information, Amembassy Lisbon and Ampolad Caserta 
are being requested to convey a similar message to Hungarian 
authorities through such channels as are available to them. 

This is WEB Cable ITo. 198. 


- 816 - 




Distribution of true 
reading only by special 


Dated December 7, 1944 
Rec'd 7:33 p.m. 

arrangement* (SECRET W) 

Secretary of State, 


7973, December 7, 2 p*m* 

Foreign Office note November 25 quoted Hungarian response 
(your 3435, October 6 WRB 198) delivered Swiss Legation Budapest 
November 8* Following is substance note: 

Jev/ish workers needed within frame work Hungary*s total war 
mobilization* Concentration Jews fit for work not discriminatory 
as on basis law 1939 all physically fit persons without distinc¬ 
tion race nationality or Religion subject military labor service 
under military discipline* Concentration Jews work camps can not 
(repeat not) be considered as punishment camps* Actually Hungar¬ 
ian ana. German governments have consented visit Intercross dele¬ 
gate camps where Hungarian Jews performing labor in Germany* Fur¬ 
thermore the protection of these Jews is appropriately provided 
for according to nature of work performed* 

Solution of Jewish question Hungary decided solely in light 
interests Hungary. Foreign threats of whatever kind cannot (re¬ 
peat not) change this principle* Jewish workers represent part 
all Hungarian workers and are used ftlthin framework Hungarian 
war effort in a form which appears appropriate Hungarian Govern¬ 

Government intends treat Jews in just and humane manner. 

Such measures depend, however, upon attitude Jews themselves 
and upon whether further enemy terroristic attacks on Hungarian 
civilian population occur since these provoke increased opposi¬ 
tion Hungarian population. General standard life Jews will not 
(repeat not) be lower than working classes. 

Regarding issuance passports and other documentation by 
Foreign Mission Budapest to Hungarian Jews for their emigration 
neutral countries or Falestine Hungarian Government reiterates it 
is still prepared to recognize these papers and accord immigra¬ 
tion Jews concerned within frame-work number visas agreed upon by 
German Government for transit through German territory in case 
normal diplomatic relation with interested country so permit. 

Despatch follows. 



- 817 - 

DOCUMENT op telegram received 

PROM: American Legation, Bern 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED; November 1, 1944 
NUMBER: 7269 



The following message from McClelland for WEB is transmitted. 

The Swiss received a message from their Legation in Budapest 
on the 27th of October which stated that an agreement has been ar¬ 
rived at between the Governments of Germany and Hungary according 
to which the emigration of about 8,000 Jews from Hungary would 
soon be authorized and that by the 15th of November this would have 
to be carried out* Means of transportation to the frontier of 
Switzerland would be furnished by the Germans and the Hungarians* 

The Swiss Political Department on the 31st of October in¬ 
structed its Legation at Budapest that these refugees would be re¬ 
ceived in Switzerland, this instruction following approval by 
Pederal Council and in order to offset any possible use by the Ger¬ 
mans or the Hungarians of lack of readiness on the part of the Swiss 
as an excuse not to allow these people to depart. The decision was 
in line with assurances which in August were given to us (see mes¬ 
sage dated August 12 from the Legation, Number 5248)* 

All pertinent information with regard to documentation, com¬ 
position, and ultimate destination of the group was requested ur¬ 
gently by wire of the Swiss Legation in Budapest on the 28th of 
October end again on the 1st of November, since it is not clear 
whether all of the 8,000 are holders of Palestine certificates, or 
whether only a part of then hold such certificates. 

November 1 conversations with Chief of Pederal Police and with 
representative for relief and refugee affairs of the Political De¬ 
partment reveal that the Swiss are concerned seriously regarding 
the practical difficulties which are involved in receiving and hous¬ 
ing a group of this size, even temporarily, at such short notice. 
Switzerland has received more than 25,000 new refugees during the 
past six weeks, they pointed out (chiefly women and children from 
Valdossola in Italy and from the combat zones in Prance) while, on 
the other hand, only 8,000 people have departed:-. 2000 French 
civilians and 6,000 military escapees. It would be difficult to 
solve the problem of fuel, blankets, and housing sufficient to prop¬ 
erly take care of 8,000 people in winter; in addition, many of the 
refugees may be clothed inadequately. Accordingly, the Swiss are 
' anxious that steps be taken as soon as possible for the evacuation 
of such Hungarian refugees* The practicability of furnishing Swiss 
trains for the transportation at once to Marseilles or to some 

- 818 - 

other Trench seaport of all those vho are eligible for emigration 
to Palestine Is being looked Into by the Swiss* Therefore, It 
would be wise if the board at once could study the problem of ob¬ 
taining one or more ships for Palestine; In addition, the Swiss 
would appreciate any efforts which could be made toward evacuation 
to North Africa or some other territory of Allied choice of all or ^ 
pert of those who are not destined for Palestine. 

Radio Budapest, evidently reversing the decision which was re¬ 
ported In Paragraph 1 of October 24 telegram from the Legation, 

Number 7049, repeated several times during the evening of the 29th 
of October and the morning of the 30th of October, Instructions ad¬ 
dressed to all Hungarian authorities, the army, and the police, to 
the effect that protective documents or foreign passports should be 
resTjected and that future Jewish holders of such documents should 
not* be sent to compulsory labor service; and, in addition, that 
rights of extraterritoriality should be enjoyed by foreign Con¬ 
sulates, Legations, and promises of ICRC. 

Now it seems probable that the majority of the 50,000 male 
Jews reported as being deported as labor (see message from the 
Legation dated October 25^ Number 7088) are being sent to western 
Hungary for work along the Austro-Hungarian border, on fortifica- 
tions there. 

It is very difficult to believe that the release of 8,000 
Jews has suddenly been decided upon in view of the recent intensi¬ 
fied anti-Jewish stand taken by the Szalassy regime as well as the 
consistent refusal of the Germans to allow the departure of even 
the initial group of 2,000 holders of Palestine certificates. 

We will keep you informed with reference to this matter. 


- 819 - 





Dated December 22, 1S44 
Rec f d 6:48 a.m., 23rd 

Secretary of State 

5235, December 22, 8 p.m. 

This is our No. 116 for War Refugee Board. 

Report from Wallenburg dAted December 8 just received from 
Swedish Foreign Office gives following information. 

Since last report, position of Hungarian Jews has become 
still worse. About 40,000 Jews, 15,000 men from labor service 
and 25,000 persons of both sexes who have been taken from their 
homes, have been forced to march on foot to Germany a distance 
of about 240 kilometers. The weather has been cold and rainy 
ever since these death marches started and the people have slept 
under rain covers and in the open. Many have died. In Mo son 
Magyarovar, Wallenburg personally saw seven persons who had died 
that day and seven the day before. Secretary of Portuguese 
Legation reported having seen 42 dead persons along the line of 
march and others reported similar figure. If the marchers could 
_not manage to walk longer, they were shot. At the border, they 
were taken over by the SS-Special Kommand Reichman and were 
beaten and those surviving were put at hard labor in the border 

Twenty thousand military labor men have been taken to the 
border by railroad* These men are working mainly on Hungarian 

The forced labor service mentioned in a previous report has 

The Jews are brought together in a central ghetto which will 
house about 69,000 Jews but which will probably house many more, 
and in an aliens ghetto for 17,000 which already houses 35,000. 

Of this number 7000 are in Swedish houses. 2,000 in Red Cross 
houses and 23,000 in Swiss houses. Every day a thousand Swiss or 
Vatican wards are removed for deputation or to the central ghetto. 
In the ghetto the Jews live four to twelve persons per room but 
the best conditions prevail in the Swedish houses. An epidemic 
of “Huhr" sickness has broken out among the Jews but it is not 
yet widespread. In the Swedish houses the health conditions are 
still good. Only five have died so far. The section is now vac¬ 
cinating the ward Jews against typhus, paratyphus and cholera. 

Even the staff must be vaccinated. In general the Jews are desti¬ 
tute because in the transposition, they were only allowed to take 

- 820 - 

with them what they could themselves carry. The supply situation 
will soon he disastrous. 

The Arrow Cross men take lots of Jews in their localities 
and ill-treat and torment them before taking them to the places 
from which they are deported. 

Rumors are circulating that a death brigade closely affil¬ 
iated with Minister Kovacs* will arrange a program against the 
Jews but Wallenburg does not think this program will be exten¬ 
sive because the SS organs are said to have received orders not 
to arrange any systematic Jewish slaughters. 

Following the death blow in October, the section has been 
further expanded. 



- 821 - 



Dated December 22, 1944 
Hec'd 4:58 a.nv., 23rd 

Secretary of State, 


5235, December 22, 8 p.m. (SECTION TWD) 

Employees total 335 in addition to about 40 physicians, house 
governors, et cetera. These all live in the localities of the 
section plus the same number of family members. There are about 
10 offices and living houses one of which is in the aliens ghetto. 
Two hospitals have been established with about 150 bed . Also a 
soup kitchen has been set up. The Jews in the Swedish *ardhouses 
leave their ration cards with the section where the suonlies are 
brought in and distributed. A large part of the sections cor¬ 
respondence has been destroyed. The food section has bought about 
2,000,000 pengo worth of supplies. 

Results obtained. The section has succeeded in procuring an 

open command from the Honved Minister that all Jews in the labor 

service with foreign documents should be returned to Budapest. 

After orders had been given by a military person sent out in one 

of the section’s cars about 15,000 Jews have returned. 


Until it was forbidden the march columns to the border ob¬ 
tained certain food and medicine but this, was only for a short 


About 200 sick persons have been rescued from the places of 

Through intervention in one form or another at the loading 
places of Jews for deportation about 2000 persons have been 
brought back - about 500 from Heyeshalon alone. This traffic, 
however, has been interrupted since the Germans in the Eichman 
commando have threatened forcible measures. 

Until now the Jews with protective passports have managed 
best of all foreign powers wards. Only 8 to 10 have been shot 
in Budapest and vicinity up to date. 




- 822 - 




FROM: American Embassy, Ankara 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: March 20, 1944 

NUMBER: 499 


The following is Ankara 1 s No. 3 from Hirschmann for WRB. 

Since our direct approach to the Rumanian Minister in Ankara 
(see our telegrams of March 13 and March 16 Nos. 440 and 474) pro¬ 
duced satisfactory results, it was decided by the Ambassador and 
me that equally satisfactory results might be produced by a similar 
direct approach to the Bulgarian Minister here. Therefore, acting 
under authority which the Secretary of the Treasury vested in me 
(see the Departments telegram of February 12, 1944 No. 120) Simond 
was requested to arrange a meeting at Simond* s home between Balbanoff, 
Simond and myself. I made it clear to Balbanoff at the beginning of 
our conversation that my sole function in Ankara was as WRB represen¬ 
tative to deal with refugee problems; that any discussion which we 
might have would be confined to this subject exclusively; and that 
any other construction placed on our talk by him or his Government 
could be only oc(*)rtion. The reply was made 6y Balbanoff that he 
understood that it would be limited to the subject of refugees and 
that he welcomed a frank discussion. Balbanoff was informed by me 
that the reports of the brutal treatment acdorded to the minorities 
in Bulgaria, especially the Jews, had outraged the government and 
the people of the United States and that Bulgaria would be called 
upon in the near future to answer therefor. I then informed him 
that our Government was determined to do everything possible to 
rescue these people who were in danger of losing their lives and 
to find havens of refuge for them and that any continuation by the 
Bulgarian Government of the execution of these policies of the 
Nazi persecution would be borne in mind by our Government in the 
future and that his Government would be well advised in its own 
interest to take advantage of such opportunities to permit refugees 
to depart across its borders as might be available to it in the 

I suggested at the conclusion of my remarks that he report 
them to his Government. It 4 was stated by Balabanoff in reply that 
the maltreatment of the minorities in Bulgaria had resulted from 
the policies of Gabrowski, the former Minister of Interior, who he 
asserted had been a tool of the Germans and was no longer a member 
of the Government. It was then stated by him that of late the Jews 
had been given much better treatment in Bulgaria and that he had 
reason to believe the "pressure" against them would continue to 
relax. It was suggested by me that Balabanoff dispatch to his 

- 823 - 

' Government an urgent message recommending that the same treatment 
as that received by other Bulgarian citizens be accorded henceforth 
to the Jews and all other minorities in Bulgaria and the deplorable 
conditions under which the Jews and other minorities are living in 
concentrated camps be ameliorated at once and that the Bulgarian 
Government take insnediate 1 steps to authorize the granting of visas 
and to provide transportation for all refugees who wish to leave 
for Palestine or Turkey. 

I was assured by Balabanoff at the close of our talk that 
he sympathizes fully with my suggestions, that he would cable his 
Government urging it to comply with them, and that he would sent 
to Sofia a full report of our talk with further detailed recommenda¬ 
tions and as soon as he received a reply hp would request Simond 
for a further meeting with me. 


(*) Apparent amission. 

- 824 - 




Ho. 3602 Stockholm, June 28, 1944. 

Subject: Transmitting Two Informal Statement* on Bulgarian Refugee 


The Honorable 

The Secretary of State, 



With reference to the Legation 1 • cable Ho. 2122 of June 13 
(Ho. 29 for the War Refugee Board), I have the honor to enclose 
herewith a copy of an informal statement supplied to the Legation 
indirectly by the Bulgarian Minister in Stockholm. This statement 
was delivered in response to an informal statement prepared by 
Mr. Iver C. Olsen, Special Attache' for the War Refugee Board, and 
delivered to the Bulgarian Minister through intermediary channels, 
a copy of which is also attached. 

Respectfully yours. 


1. Informal statement by 
Bulgarian Minister. 


^ifikSHHltli 7# JOHNSOH 


Informal statement by 
Kr. Iver C. Olsen. 

- 825 - 

^Enclosure No. 1 to Dispatch No. 3602 
dated June 28, 194^7 

^Israel .s.UtfiEg.kS Mlalftiu: 

Having for five centuries lived under foreign domination, the 
Bulgarian people, dismembered from 1878 until the present, have been 
under the domination of certain foreign states. Thus this nation 
has had to fight for centuries to obtain at last its independence and 
its national unity. 

Itself reared in the traditions of freedom, the Bulgarian people 
is refractory to all oppression. For this reason the Bulgarian Govern¬ 
ment has always respected the human rights of all minorities which have 
lived on Bulgarian territory. 

During the present war, Bulgaria has not sent a single soldier 
to any front, she has dropped not a single bomb on any of her enemies, 
but she has ceaselessly striven to mitigate within the limits of pos¬ 
sibility the inevitable consequences of war for the Bulgarian popula¬ 
tions of Macedonia and Western Thrace which until 1941 were under 
Serbian and Greek domination. 

Measures taken against the Jews by Bulgaria have been applied 
without harshness by all organizations of the administration. It is 
no secret — and the Bulgarian Jews themselves know it very well — 
that the late King Boris', as well as the supreme authority of the 
Bulgarian Orthodox Church have always taken care to see that the Jews 
were treated without harshness. As for the Bulgarian town and rural 
populations, these have declared a sympathy for the Jews which the Jews 
themselves have recognized. At this moment the Jews are living in much 
better conditions than those enjoyed by the majority of Bulgarian 
citizens who have been obliged to abandon their towns destroyed by 
American air raids and have lost everything they possessed. 

The Bulgarian Government has never refused to lend an attractive 
ear to the counsels of humanity and tolerance. In Bulgaria everyone 
knows that the strength of a small nation lies in its moral integrity. 
Even today they would have been willing to listen to suggestions made 
in defense of Jews and refugees, but on condition that those responsible 
for making these suggestions should themselves have given a personal 
example of humanitarian treatment. 

The American Air Forces have carried out acts of the greatest and 
most arbitrary cruelty against the civilian population of the cities 
of Sofia, Plovdif, Skopie, Doupnitza, Veiies, Vratza and others. They 
have done violence to the chateau of Frana, residence of the Queen, a 
widow of barely six months' standing, and of her two orphan children. 

- 826 - 

aged 12 and 7. The Chateau has been totally destroyed, although it 
is far from any military objective, far from any other habitation. 

If the Bulgarian people were to learn that there are still to be 
found in the United States of America nobla souls who deplore these 
cruelties; if those who preside over the destinies of the great American 
nation, instead of addressing threats, were to promise to repair the 
damage that their cruel military leaders have already done, and never 
again to permit their Air Force to kill and ruin a harmless and guilt¬ 
less population, then without a doubt the Bulgarian Government would 
recognize the moral right of the USA to give humanitarian advice and 
then the Bulgarian people would fully approve action which conforms to 
such advice. 

- 827 - 

/Enclosure No* 2 to Dispatch 
No # 3602 dated June 28, 1944 J 

Jaforflal statement Preoared by Mr. Olsen 

The Bulgarian Minister in Ankara, Mr. Balahanoff, had some 
discussions, through intermediaries, with certain representatives 
of the American Embassy regarding the status of Jews in Bulgaria. 
The Bulgarian Minister was advised of the deep concern of the 
United States Government with regard to these Jews and that it in¬ 
tended to hold all persons and governments involved in the perse¬ 
cution of these minorities fully responsible and accountable. Men¬ 
tion was then made of certain reports concerning brutal treatment 
and persecution of Jews and other minorities in Bulgaria and Hr. 
Balabanoff was asked to communicate to the Bulgarian Government 
the intention of the United States Government to observe very 
closely any such developments and to take them fully into account 
in the final settlement. He was advised also to inform his Gov¬ 
ernment that in its own interests the Bulgarian Government would 
do well to do everything possible to protect these minorities 
and to take all actions which would assist these refugees in es¬ 
caping to safety. 

Minister Balabanoff gave every assurance that it was not the 
policy of the Bulgarian Government to persecute and destroy mi¬ 
norities, and thereafter sent a cable to his Foreign Office 
strongly recommending that persecution of minorities be stopped 
and that all steps be taken to protect such groups. He advised 
representatives of the United States Embassy that he would ob¬ 
tain the necessary assurances from the Bulgarian Government and 
communicate them to the Americans. 

These meetings took place early in April and no further word 
has been received. Failure to receive the promised assurances 
from the Bulgarian Government has made an unfavorable impression 
upon the United*States Government and it would be greatly ap¬ 
preciated if steps would be renewed in bringing the matter to the 
attention of the Bulgarian Government and obtaining the assurances 
which were promised. 

- 82a - 


TROKj American Embassy, Ankara 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: July 22, 1944 

NUMBER: 1344 (Ankara No. 105) 



This message is from Hirschmann for Pehle, WHB. 

Concerning the refugee movement to Istanbul from Bulgaria by 
sea and rail developments of a promising nature are under way. 

This is for your information. 

The memorandum* s contents v/hich were prepared by me have been 
transmitted through an intermediary in the confidence of the 
highest officials of Bulgaria, to Balabanoff, the Minister to Tur¬ 
key from Bulgaria, who with the Bulgarian officials in Sofia has 
discussed the subject. I asked in this memorandum that the au¬ 
thorities of Bulgaria give authorization and facilitation without 
delay to movement cf refugees through or from Bulgaria to Turkey 
by rail of not less than 500 individuals weekly; to give authori¬ 
zation and assistance without hindrance to the movement of refu¬ 
gees by ship from the ports of Bulgaria; and to issue an ordi¬ 
nance stating that all persecution and repressive steps directed 
against Jews and minorities will cease rt onco and Jews will be 
accorded treatment like that of other citizens of Bulgaria. An 
interview with me has been requested by Balabanoff in regard to 
my reouests since his return to Ankara. Plans axe being made 
through the International Red Cross for t is conference at the 
earliest possible tine. Reliable information hrs been received 
by me that the. Government of Bulgaria is ready to reverse its pre¬ 
vious policy and facilitate the movement of the refugees within 
the limitations imposed by the chaotic transportation and tech¬ 
nical facilities of Bulgaria. 

With regard to this two Bulgarian ships in Burgas, the PIRIIT 
capable of carrying 400 passengers and the VITA, 350 passengers, 
have been trying for some time to acquire permission to proceed 
to Istanbul from the Turk and Bulgarian officials. Attempt is 
being made by us to effect the departure of these vessels at once 
and to make plans for other ships to make similar trips. Further¬ 
more, v/e are attempting to arrange for the transportation of an 
appreciable number of refugees to Turkey by railroad. Of addi¬ 
tional measures and progress you will be informed. 


- 329 - 



LC - 92 

Distribution of 
true reading by 


DATED July 26, 1944 
HEC'D 6:17 a.m. 27th 

special arrangement. 

(Secret W) 

Secretary of State 

1370, July 26, 4 p.m. 

Tor Pehle WHB from Hirschmann. 

The Bulgarian Minister to Turkey in an interview today ar¬ 
ranged by Simond of the Intercross informed, me (Ankara 1 s 107) that 
his Government had accepted the proposals v&iich I had. made and au¬ 
thorized me to transmit the following decisions of his Government. 

One. The Jews are gradually having restored to them the status 
which they held before the war. 

The Restrictions, oppressions, persecutions and abuses 11 are 
being eliminated. 

Two. Facilities have been officially authorized which will 
permit them to leave Bulgaria with all possible assistance and a 
minimum of formalities. 

Three. Instructions will be issued to expedite the departure 
from Bulgaria of vessels containing refugees. 

Four. The departure by rail will be aux^orized by approxi¬ 
mately 400 to 500 refugees weekly provided the Turk authorities 
grant transit visas en route to Palestine. 

Balabanoff stated that the above measures were being communi¬ 
cated to the leaders of the Bulgarian Jewish Community. He empha¬ 
sized that the change of policy was definitive but the steps would 
be gradual in order not to "fly in the face of the Germans'". I 
urged upon Balabanoff the immediate withdrawal of the two notori¬ 
ous oppressive anti-Jewish Bulgarian laws. Balabanoff replied 
that these would definitely be cancelled within a brief time. 

With respect to the technical difficulties involved in se¬ 
curing the necessary certificates to permit departure from Bul¬ 
garia, Balabanoff said that these difficulties would be relieved 
within technical possibilities. I thereupon urged that children 
be given first priority since they required few certificates, 
to which he agreed with the proviso that we define children as un¬ 
der 15 years of age. I told the Bulgarian Minister that the new 
policy of his Government in regard to refugees would be presented 

- 830 - 

as a gesture of good will to Washington, and I suggested that the 
release without delay of large numbers of refugees would receive 
favorable publicity in America which the present Bulgarian Govern¬ 
ment is seeking. 

Balabanoff stated that his Governments new regime was essen¬ 
tially liberal in policy and was attempting to find the best and 
quickest ways to w get out from under the Nazi yoke 11 being at the 
same time very sympathetic to the Soviets whom they held in high 
regard but not without some fear. 

Balabanoff said that his Government agreed to the proposal con¬ 
cerning the sailing of the "S.S.Teri* to a Bulgarian port and re¬ 
turn to Istanbul withouc a German safe conduct, provided the Bul¬ 
garians granted the necessary authorization, to which a Turk of¬ 
ficial had agreed with Ambassador Steinhardt and Simond. I will 
report further on this project which has been revived. 

At the conclusion of the interview, I requested Balabanoff to 
confirm in writing the agreement of his Government to the fore¬ 
going. The Embassy 1 s next numbered telegram will contain a trans¬ 
lation of Balabanoff*s letter. 


- 831 - 



Distribution of 
true reading only by 
special arrangement. 

(Secret W) 

Secretary of State 

1400. August 1, noon. 

For Pehle, WEB. from Hirschnann, Ankara’s 112. 

A group of 40 children. 12 girls and 28 boys between the ages 
of twelve and seventeen years, accompanied by two adult escorts, 
arrived in Istanbul on July 30 by rail from Bulgaria. All were in 
possession of Turk transit visas and departed.for Palestine on 
July 31 by rail. The children were part of a group of 100 for whom 
lists were submitted many months ago but whose documentation be¬ 
cause of technicalities was only recently completed. Some of the 
children all of whom are Bulgarian had been waiting two years for 
the completion of immigration formalities. 

Inquiry among the children indicated that an additional group 
of approximately 200 have their documentation for emigration to 
Palestine in varying stages of completion. Efforts are being made 
here to evacuate them during August in the same manner as the 
group of 40. In view of the statement made to me by Balaban of 
B* (EMB'S 1371. July 26) I am pursuing this among other possible 
steps by the Bulgarians in order to obtain a concrete indication 
of the intentions of the Bulgarian Government in the matter of the 
amelioration of the conditions of its Jewish citizens and facili¬ 
tating without delay the movement of those desiring to depart. 

According to information received in Istanbul the Jewish Com¬ 
munity of Rousse in Bulgaria has been designated by the Bulgarian 
Government as the agency which is to concern itself with the prep¬ 
aration rf Jews desiring to emigrate to Palestine. Until now the 
Bulgarian regulations did not •oermit the existence of any Jewish 
organization in consequence of which all steps for emigration had 
to be undertaken for individuals by attorneys at large fees. The 
designation of the Rousse Jewish Community for this purpose may 
indicate a first step in a more orderly emigration of Jews from 


DATED August 1, 1944 
REC’D 8:52 a.m. 2nd 


*Balabanoff. Apparent error in transmission. 



AMT-737 Ankara 

Distribution of true DATED August 2, 1944 

reading only by special BBC' D 10:46 p.m., 4th 

arrangement. (Secret-W) 

Secretary of State, 


1414, August 2, 8 p.m. 

Tor Pehle WRB from Hirschmann. 

Through an intermediary I have transmitted the following message 
to Bulgarian officials: 

One. We intend to hold the Bulgarian Government responsible for 
the taking without delay of the steps which Balabanoff Informed me would 
be taken (HZEMBS 1370, July 26) with a view to ameliorating the situa¬ 
tion of the Jews in Bulgaria and eliminating all varieties of persecu¬ 
tion and abuse and facilitating by every possible means the departure 
of those Jews who desire to emigrate. 

Two. We will not be satisfied until the two scandalous ant i- 
Jewlsh laws are completely revoked and we expect the Bulgarian Govern¬ 
ment to take steps to this end with the least possible delay. 

Three. In the meanwhile the Bulgarian Government is expected to 
be completely lax in the enforcement of the aforesaid laws. 

Tout. The necessity for the evacuation of Bulgarian Jewish citi- 
sens should be removed without delay and the emigration of such cltisens 
should be the result of voluntary action and not of a necessity imposed 
by discriminatory treatment and laws. 

five. The Bulgarian Government should in its own interest take 
steps to rehabilitate its Jewish population for productive work. 

Six. Existing relief agencies in Turkey, with the assistance of 
the United States Government will endeavor within possibilities to pro¬ 
vide food, clothing and economic aid for the rehabilitation of Bulgaria's 
Jewish citizenry, and we expect the Bulgarian Government to give all 
possible assistance to this work. 

Balabanoff and his intermediaries have emphasized their urgent 
desire to do something which could win for the present Bulgarian Govern¬ 
ment the good will of the United States at this special juncture, and 
have reported in a pointed way the effect which the absence of the bomb¬ 
ing of Bulgaria since March 20 had had on the Bulgarian Government and 

- 833 - 

It should he our aln to salvage and to put hack on their feet as 
quickly as possible the entire remaining 45,000 Jewish population of 
Bulgaria rather than to press for the pitifully snail sporadic movement 
of evacuation to Palestine which the circumstances prescribe at this 
tine. We should emphasize that people rehabilitated in their own coun¬ 
try will become more useful citizens and not create any postwar problems 


- 834 - 




Distribution of trw 
reading only by special 
arrangement. ( Secret-W) 

Secretary of State. 


1446. August 7. 11 p.m. 

For Pehle WEB from Hlrschaann. Ankara's Vo. 123. 

In a further interview with Balabanoff on August 5 the position 
of WEB relating to Bulgarian Jewish refugees as set forth in the Em¬ 
bassy's 1414. August 2 was presented to him. Balabanoff said that he 
would inf ora his government without delay of ay requests and would 
warmly recommend them. 

In the course of the discussion Balabanoff stated that: 

One. The political situation in Bulgaria had eased considerably^ 
in recent weeks, and this circumstance should tend to assist his govern¬ 
ment in taking measures which heretofore were subject to strong Vail 
influence and opposition. 

Two. The relationship between the Bulgarian and Soviet Govern¬ 
ments had improved in the last few weeks. 

In this connection I informed Balabanoff that all of my discussions 
with him were reported by me to the Soviets. 

Three. He was fully informed of the telegrams relating to refu¬ 
gee movements exchanged between the VHB and the Bulgarian Minister in 

Four. He would gladly recommend the revocation of the anti-Jewlsh 
laws in return for the continuance of the "happy omission" of bombing 
of Sophia, to which I replied that I had no authority to speak on mili¬ 
tary matters to him or his Nasi partners who were the initial perpetra¬ 
tors of the bombing of civilians. 

Five. Would be interested in the nature of the goodwill which 
Bulgaria might build up in the United States by taking the steps which 
I requested especially with regard to the post-war period. He expressed 
a special desire to know how long the United States Government would 
retain cm Interest in European and Balkan affairs after the war. Again 
I replied that this was not within my knowledge or Jurisdiction but 
that the United States Government's basic concern with minorities and 
humanitarian rights was well known. 


DATED August 7, 1944 
HVC'D 6:26 p.m. 9th 

- 835 - 

Balabanoff ie being handed an informal memorandum written by me 
to Simond covering completely the points presented in the Embassy's 
1414, August 2, he promised to inform me as soon as he had a reply 
from Sofia. 



- 336 - 




Tiis telegram must "be 
paraphrased before being 
communicated to anyone 
other than a Government 
agency. (Restricted) 

Secretary of State, 


1823, September 26, 2 p.m. 

The Bulgarian Minister of Propaganda, Domokazassov made the fol¬ 
lowing statement to newspaper correspondents on September 22, 1944, 
which was broadcast via radio Sofia in the Bulgarian, English and 
Hebrew languages. 

One. The Bulgarian Government takes a positive attitude regard¬ 
ing the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine. 

Two. The Bulgarian Government has no objection and will make no 
difficulties for those Jews who wish to emigrate to Palestine. Regard¬ 
ing them as Bulgarian citizens who enjoj full rights, the Government 
will require of them merely that they comply with all laws or regula¬ 
tions obligatory for all citizens of the country. 

Three. The Government has annulled all exclusive laws of anti- 
Jewish character. Such an exclusive law was that establishing a surtax 
to the extent of 20 to 25^ of the value of all Jewish property. This 
tax, being the result of a vicious law, was discriminatory against the 
Jews. The excess amount will now be returned but because of Bulgaria's 
difficult financial situation such amount will be converted into a 
state loan of definite maturity. 

Pour. The Jews now enjoy full equality of rights and live under 
the same conditions -and in freedom as do other Bulgarian nationals. 

The following procedure will be applied to the property falsely 
sold and confiscated: 

Property, firm rights, and other assets still owned by the state 
will be returned to the Jews; There will remain to be settled the ques¬ 
tion of assets about which legal obligations have arisen between the 
state and private interests, that is, where property or firm rights have 
been transferred to third parties, or where other obligatory relations 
have been created during the course of the last few years. The solution 
of this problem is a questioh of time. The Government will find the means 
to solve it in such ways as not to disturb the traditional friendship 


DATED September 26, 1944 
REC'D 8:06 p.m., 27th 

- 837 - 


and mutual understanding between Bulgarians and Jews. The Government 
is being assisted in this matter by Jewish people who have confidence 
in it. The Government will solve the problem in accordance with nation¬ 
al relations between a democratic state and its citizens. 


In cases where ficticious property transfers have been made by 
Jews to Bulgarians such property will be automatically returned to its 
lawful owner. In cases of fraudulent transfers the public authorities 
will make investigations and will proceed in favor of the injured party. 

The foregoing ends the statement of policy. 

In our opinion, this statement if faithfully implemented will 
materially assist in the reestablishment of Bulgarian Jewish citizens 
to their earlier rights and liberties. 


- 833 - 





Distribution of true 

September 7, 1944 

6 p.m. 

reading only by special 
arrangement. (Secret W) 

Amembassy 0 



The following WRB Cable No. 106 is for Hirschmann. 

Several requests have already been received by the War Refugee 
Board for financial assistance in the relief of refugees in areas 
liberated by the allied military forces. 

For your information and guidance War Refugee Board activities 
are to be strictly limited to the rescue and relief of the victims of 
enemy oppression who are in imminent danger of death, that is, who 
are still in enemy-occupied territory. Refugee problems in liberated 
areas are not (repeat net) regarded as being within the Board 1 s 
functions. Accordingly, if you receive requests limited to the re¬ 
lief and assistance of refugees in areas liberated from the Germans, 
you should refer such problems to UNLHa, the appropriate military 
authorities, the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees, private 
refugee organizations, cr other national or international groups 
which are authorized to deal with matters of this nature. 

The foregoing shall not be construed to limit the activities of 
the Board dealing with arrangements for the removal of refugees in 
liberated areas whose presence serves to discourage and prevent the 
rescue of additional refugees from enemy-occupied areas. 

This message has been repeated to the other WRB Special Represen¬ 
tatives abroad. 


/Repeated to Stockholm, Lisbon, Caserta, London, and Ber?u/ 

- 839 - 




FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: American Bubassy, Ankara 

DATED: March 13, 1944 

NUMBER: 194 


The following to Hirschmann from War Refugee Board. 

Davila suggested that an investigation be made by you of 
the report that administration of Transnistria has been turned 
over to the Germans by Rumania, in which event it is indispensable 
that the Jews be evacuated to Rumania or elsewhere immediately. 

You are also requested to investigate the report that the Germans 
halted the earlier evacuation from Tran sni stria to Rumania. Our 
insistence that this German demand, if made, be resisted by 
Rumania is a matter of importance. This Government is making 
appropriate representations to Rumania, Hungary, and Bulgaria 
through various channels. You should immediately cable to us 
any information you can secure regarding the present situation 
in Transnistria. 


- 840 - 




This t elegram must be 
paraphrased before being 
communicated to anyone 
other than a Governmental 
agency. (SC00) 

Secretary of State, 


440, March 13, 5 p.m. (Section One) 

Department's 177, March 7. 

From Hirschmann for Pehle War Refugee Board. 

After consultation with Ambassador Steinhardt it was decided 
that it was preferable to make a direct approach to Alexandre 
Cretzianu, recently appointed Rumanian Minister to Ankara rather 
than to make an indirect approach to the Rumanian Government which 
would have entailed delay, the possibility of a misunderstanding 
as to the motive of the approach and would have made less of «i 
impres *ion on the Rumanian Government. Furthermore the unexpected¬ 
ly rapid advance toward Transnistria with the ensuing probability 
of drastic measures by Rumania and German authorities throughout 
the threatened area, seemed to call for immediate action to bring 
to the attention of the Rumanian Government in Bucharest the 
message contained in the Department's telegram under reference. 
Accordingly, acting under the authority vested in me by the 
Secretary of Treasury (see Department's 120, February 12), 

Gilbert Sim on d the Swiss representative of International Red 
Cross in Ankara was requested to arrange a meeting between 
Cretzianu, Sim on d and myself at Sim end's home. 

Cretzianu is reported on good authority to enjoy the con¬ 
fidence of Marshal Antonescu. His sympathies are said to be 
pro-Ally and his disposition humanitarian. At the outset of 
our conversation I made it unmistakably clear to Cretzianu that 
sy sole function in Ankara was as the representative of the War 
Refugee Board to deal with refugee problems; that any discussion 
between us would be confined exclusively to this subject; and 
that any other construction placed on our talk by him or his 
Government could only be occasioned by a deliberate distortion. 
Cretzianu said he quite understood the situation and that he 
welcomed a frank discussion of the Jewish refugee problem in 
Rumania with a view to its clarification and efforts towards 
an immediate amelioration. After outlining to him the outraged 
feeling of our Government as a result of the brutal treatment 


DATED: March 13, 1944 
REC'D: 3:31 p.*., 14th. 

which has been and is being accorded the Jewish minorities 
and refugee8 of other nationalities in Rumania and our 
Government 1 s determination to do everything in its power 
to rescue these unfortunates who are in danger of death and 
to find havens of refuge for them, and that our Government 
will keep in mind in the future any continuation on the part 
of the Rumanian Government of the execution of these policies 
of Hitlerite persecutions, and that the Rumanian Government 
would be well advised in its own interest to take advantage 
of such opportunities as may be available to it in the future 
to permit refugees to depart across its borders, I invited 
him to report the foregoing to his Government. After stating 
his long standing desire to find a satisfactory solution of 
the Jewish problem in Rumania he made the following statementsi 

/Bod of Section 0ne7 

- 842 - 


This telegram must be 
paraphrased before being 
communicated to anyone 
other than a Governmental 
agency. (SCOO) 

Secretary of State 
440, March 13, 5 p.m. (Section Two) 

(1) Tranenistria where the Jewish refugees are mainly 
concentrated has been changed from a civil to a military zone 
under the direction of General Potopeau who Cretslanu stated 
was well known to him and would if he received appropriate 
instructions from Marshall An tone sea to protect the refugee 
population, carry out these instructions in an "efficient and 
sympathetic manner." 

(2) The recent advance of the Russian Army toward Rumania 
was most unexpected by his Government which had anticipated 
sufficient time within which to "adjust its military position 
and might result in a situation which would provoke the German 
military authorities to take over control in Transnistria. 

(3) Cretslanu made the categoric statement that provided 
there was time enough to control the situation he could assure 
me that "no bodily harm will be done to any of the Jewish 
refugees in Transnistria." In this connection he stated that 
steps had recently been taken by Marshal Antonescu "to improve 
the situation among the Jewish refugees even to the extent of 
providing clothing and medicines." 

(4) Cretslanu gave me a definite assurance that on the 
arrival of a vessel or vessels at Con stanza to embark up to 
5000 Jewish refugee children the necessary transportation 
and exit visas would be provided promptly. 

(5) Cretslanu agreed to send an urgent telegram to 
Bucharest recommending in the strongest terms that efforts 
be made at once to transfer the Jewish refugees from 
Transnistria to the interior of Rumania proper expressing 
the reservation, however, that it might not be practical to 
effect so large a transfer before the Russian advance 
hindered further movement. 


DATED: March 13, 1944 
REC'D: 4 p.m., 14th 

At the close of our talk Cretzianu stated that he would 
communicate to me immediately any reply received by him from 
Bucharest by requesting a further meeting with me through Simond. 

Throughout the conversation I gained the impression that 
Cretzianu was deeply /sic7 with the importance attached by our 
Government to the program of the War Refugee Board and to 
the seriousness with which our Government would regard any 
further mistreatment of Jewish refugees in Rumania. 

(End of Message) 


- 844 - 




FROM: American Embassy, Ankara 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: March 16, 1944 

NUMBER: 474 


The foil caring is for IRB's attention. 

I refer herewith to my previews cable dated March 13, 1944, 
No. 440. 

A meeting with Hirschmann was requested today by the 
Rumanian Minister through Simond, and Hirschmann was informed 
by the Rumanian Minister that he had received a reply from his 
Government the substance of which was as follows: 

(1) It has been decided by the Government of Rumania 
to transfer to Rumania proper from Transnistria all Jews who 
are actually in Trananistra at the present time. This transfer 
from Trananistria has already started. 

(2) The Government of Rumania pledges itself to facilitate 
in every possible manner the emigration of the Jews. 





FROM; Amembassy, Ankara 

TO; Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: March 20, 1944 

DUMBER: 497 


Following is Ankara’s No. 2 for the Department and WRB. 

I was informed today by Simond of International Red Cross that 
he had received a cable from a representative of his organization in 
Bucharest that 43,000 Jewish refugees had been transferred to Rumania 
proper from Transnistria to date. A request to keep me informed of 
progress of the movement was made of Simond. 


- 846 - 




Distribution of true 
reading only by special 


DATED: July 7, 1944 
REC'D: 3:54 a.m., 8th 

arrangement. (Secret-W) 

Secretary of State 


1230, July 7, 2 p.ra. 

For the War Refugee Board from Hirschmann 

Ankara No. 89. 

By arrangement with Gilbert Simond of the International Red 
Cross, I conferred yesterday with Alexandre Cretziarm, Rumanian 
Minister to Turkey, at the home of Simond. Cretzianu took pains to 
emphasize the determined efforts of the Rumanian Government to assist 
in the transportation of Jewish refugees from Rumania. He asserted 
that since my absence from Turkey he had received two telegrams from 
Miscae Antonescu to the effect that "I am doing my utmost to assist 
in the transportation of Jewish refugees." Cretzianu insisted that 
he had in his possession further corroboration that the camp in 
Transnistria which had contained 4B,000 refugees had been completely 
disbanded in March 1944, but that he could not guarantee any orderly 
movement of refugees, since he asserted that the bombing of Ploesti 
and Bucharest had caused marked confusion and chaos in Rumania for 
all citizens and had multiplied the difficulties connected with all 
traffic movements. 

Cretzianu promised to verify the authority and function of the 
Rumanian interministerial Committee dealing with refugee transporta¬ 
tion, referred to in the Embassy* s 1218, July 5 for the War Refugee 
Board. Stating that the Rumanians unanimously desire to withdraw 
from the war provided Rumania would not become another Italy, he 
warned that such a step at this time would unquestionably bring about 
complete German occupation and under such circumstances "I fear that 
Rumania may become another Hungary insofar as the Jews are concerned." 
Cretzianu emphasized the friendly role that his government was playing 
at this time in connection with the Jewish refugees. He promised to 
assist in expediting the embarkation of refugees on the ships in 
Constanza and to report to me through Simond the information he will 
receive from Antonescu after he has communicated our conversation to 

Cretzianu seemed deeply impressed by the strong warnings which 
our government has made to the Hungarian leaders regarding the fate 
which awaits the latter for their barbarisms and took a copy of a 
memorandum which I handed to him on thi3 subject and which he requested 
permission to send to Bucharest. 

- 847 - 

I am proceeding today to Istanbul where I shall meet with the 
Jewish organization representatives there to form the advisory com¬ 
mittee and endeavor to expedite the ship movements from Rumania. 


- 848 - 

document 230 


FROM: American Rnbaesy, Ankara 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: June 21, 1944 

NUMBER: 1125 

The Ambassador transmits the following, Ankara, No. 78, for 
the War Refugee Board. 

Information has reached me that the government of Rumania 
has decided to create an interdepartmental board for Jewish 
emigration under the Prime Minister's supervision and to 
establish an emigration office under the direction of A. L. Zissu, 
the Jewish Agency Representative in Bucharest, and by making the 
Rumanian S. S. ALBA JULIA and other Rumanian boats available 
for the transportation of Jewish refugees, thereby to implement 
the same. 


- 849 - 




This telegram must be 
paraphrased before being 
communicated to anyone 
other than a Government 
agency. (Restricted) 

Secretary of State 

1321, July 20, 3 p.m. 

For Pehle WRB from Hirschmann. 

Ankara*s No. 99. 

For your information Gilbert Simond of the Intercross forwarded 
to me today the following communication which he had received from 
Alexander Cretzianu Rumanian Minister to Turkey. This communication 
was in response to my request for information concerning the new of¬ 
ficial Rumanian organization for dealing with the belligerent attitude 
of Jews from Rumania. The following is translation of this document 
received from bimond: 

"Communication received on July 13, 1944 from Mr. Alexander Cret- 
zianu, Rumanian Minister to Turkey, conveying a statement by Mahai 
Antonescu, Vice President of the Council of Ministers. 

I wish to inform you that an Inter-Ministerial Commission has 
been constituted since the beginning of the month of May, under ny 
chairmanship, for the purpose of organizing officially and efficiently 
the belligerent attitude of Jews. During the sessions of this com¬ 
mission Fischer Filderraann and Zimmer, the representatives of the Jews 
of Rumania, have been consulted, as well as the Commissioner for 
Jewish Affairs. These persons have jointly established a practical 
means for organizing Jewish emigration, with the help of either medium 
size ships flying a foreign flag (which have recently affected trans¬ 
ports) or ships of greater tonnage which the Service Maritime Agency 
may charter for that purpose. 

The decision of the government has been officially communicated 
to the Swiss, Swedish, Turkish and Portuguese Legations 3 to the 
delegates of the International Red Cross Committee; as well as to 
His Eminence, the Apostolic Nuncio at Bucharest. 

The Inter-Ministerial Commission is in full activity. I hope that 
the international organizations which have dealt with the question of 
Jewish emigration will assist it by giving it their full support." 

The above communication on behalf of Mahai Antonescu serves in 
our opinion to strengthen our view tnat the Rumanian Government is 
taking measures at the present time to assist the emigration of Jewish 



DATED: July 20, 1944 
REC*D: 11:10 p.m. 


- 850 - 



Distribution of true 
reading only by special arrange¬ 
ment. (Secret W) 

Secretary of State 

1365, July 25, 7 p.m. 

For Pehle WRB from hirschmann. 

Ankara No. 106. 

Through the intermediary of the International Red Cross represen¬ 
tative in Istanbul, a further meeting was arranged on July 21 at Istan¬ 
bul between the Rumanian Minister to Ankara Alexandria Cretzianu 
Monsieur Jaquinet of the International Red Cross and myself. 

I made the following urgent requests of Cretzianu: 

One. In view of the reported new policy of the Hungarian Govern¬ 
ment that Jewish refugees will be permitted to leave Hungary for 
Palestine provided they have Rumanian transit visas, I requested that 
the Rumanian Government issue without delay thousands of such visas 
to Jews in Hungary who would remain in Rumania only long enough to 
embark on the vessels from Constanza. Cretzianu promised to immediately 
"warmly and strongly recommend to Bucharest by telegram that the above 
request should be granted." 

Two. In view of the explained deadlock in Rumania which is 
preventing the departure of the Turk ships and the Greek ship "Smyrnie" 
from Constanza which I (have?) am informed Cretzianu, I requested him 
to obtain information regarding the reasons for this deadlock. I also 
asked Cretzianu to urge his Government to facilitate by all possible 
means without delay the departure of these vessels. Cretzianu agreed 
to do so. 

Three. Since it has been reported in Istanbul that some Rumanian 
political personalities were seeking to proceed from Rumania to Turkey 
by means of the refugee ships I inquired of Cretzianu as to the 
veracity of this report since such a situation might possibly inter¬ 
fere with the movement of refugees. Cretzianu asserted that he was 
aware of this possibility and informed me that there were two categor¬ 
ies of politicians in Rumania who might be interested in such voyages: 
(a) the so-called LiberaJS with whom he asserted he was in sympathy 
and who might be available to perform useful political services at 
this time outside of Rumania (b) politicians who are seeking to "desert 
the sinking ship" Cretzianu declared that he would work against the 



DATED: July 25, 1944 
REC'D: 2:15 a.m., 26th 

- 851 - 

efforts of the latter to secure Turkish visas and such Rumanians 
employing the device of refuge ships to escape from Rumania would 
meet with his opposition• 

Cretzianu informed me that the resolution of Mihaiu Antonescu, 
setting forth tne auspices and authority of the Rumanian Inter-Minis¬ 
terial Committee to deal with the transportation of Jewish refugees 
(reported to you in Embassy's 1321) was a matter of secrecy and had 
not as yet been disclosed, and that he would prefer that it be not 
publicly divulged for the present. 

My impression from this interview further confirmed my view that 
Cretzianu is speaking for the Rumanian Government and is searching 
more intensively for a means of assistance in the rescue and trans¬ 
portation of refugees through and from Rumania. 


- 252 - 




This telegram must be 
paraphrased before being 


DATED: September 9, 1944 
REC'D: 6:52 p.m. 

communicated to anyone 
other than a Government 
Agency, (Restricted) 

Secretary of State 

1695> September 9, 4 p.m. 

From Ambassador Steinhardt and Hirschmann to War Refugee 

Ankara*s 152 

It is reported here that a royal decree issued by the Govern¬ 
ment of Rumania restores equal rights to all Rumanians without 
regard to race or religion. We are informed further that all royal 
decrees based on differentiation of race or religion have been 


- 353 - 


234 op telegram received 





Amlegation, Bern 

Secretary of State, Washington 

September 15, 1944 



This message is from McClelland for Ackermann, WRB. 

Given below is a message which has been transmitted to Rome: 

(71, September 15, 8 a.m.) 

Prom reports which have been received during the last few days 
from trustworthy sources in Bratislava, the situation of the refining 
18,000 to 20,000 Jews in Slovakia is becoming more and more precarious. 

In a telegram received here the twelfth of September the state¬ 
ment is made that again on the eleventh of September Slovak officials 
began to deport Jews. Although we art, awaiting additional data from 
a courier who is arriving the last of this week, as yet this news 
is unconfirmed. Indications which are reliable and confidential 
have come to me which show that responsibility for this renewed 
persecution of the Jews rests on the Slovak H Quisling* 1 Government• 

The recent public statement of the Minister of the Interior of the 
Tiso Government to the effect that the Jews and Czechs were responsi¬ 
ble for the extensive resistance movement, which a short time ago 
broke out in Slovakia, bears out the indications above. In both 
Czech circles here and Jewish circles in Bratislava, it is strongly 
felt that the influence of the Vatican could help alleviate this 
situation if energetically and quickly used. Will you please have a 
discussion with Mr. Taylor as to the possibility and advisability of 
such Vatican intervention. Prom reliable sources I am advised that 
the Slovak Minister and "hornme de finance" of Tito, Carol Sidor, 
still is at the Vatican from which he hopes to sedure protection 
after the war is over. It might be that this situation could be 
used to advantage. Information as to whether Mr. Taylor feels that 
a step in tnis direction might be effective and feasible would be 

The message above was repeated to WRB in Washington with the 
further request that serious consideration be given to the possi¬ 
bility of giving the Slovak Government a formal warning that they 
will be held responsible for last minute excesses against the Jewish 





- 854 - 



reading only 


of true 
by special 
(Secret W) 


DATED: November 17, 1944 
REC*D: 9*50 p.ra. 

Secretary of State 

7594, November 17, noon 
For TIB from McClelland 

Legation*s 6839, October 13* 

Trustworthy report dated October 28 reached Switzerland Novem¬ 
ber 13 through Czech underground channels containing additional in¬ 
formation regarding fate of Jews in Slovakia and particularly 
Bratisls /a. 

Number of Jews sent by Germans to Sered in September and early 
October from Bratislava appears to have been about 4000, somewhat 
lower hanpily than previously announced figure. Only about 300 
souls are at present left in Sered, over 3,000 having been deported 
from that camp to unknown destination- 

It is estimated that about 20* of Jews in Bratislava were able 
to escape deportation by hiding and flight* 

This action was a general one conducted against all Jews in 
Slovakian German-controlled areas and included even so-called Class 
"B" beptized Jews. Only Jewish wives of •Aryans" were excepted. 

Jews arrested in eastern and central Slovakia were mainly sent 
to a new camp recently set up in a wood near town of Topolcany. 

This camp is heavily guarded and hermetically cut off from all out¬ 
side contact, population for radius of 4 kilometers having been 
evacuated. Nothing further about this new camp i b known. 

Most of personnel of central Jewish office (Ustrednezidov) in 
Bratislava appear to have been deported with exception of Mrs. 
Fleischmann who was able to hide. Nothing is known about where¬ 
abouts of Drostar Neumann, her chief colleague. 

This report confirms fact that a deportation train left camp 
at Marianka about mid-Octobef (Legation’s 7163 October 28). 

It is significant to note that Gestapo delayed granting German 
transit visa to ICRC delegate Dr. Dunant who was scheduled to leave 
for Bratislava during September until termination this action against 
the Jews in mid-October. 


- 855 - 




Distribution of true 
reading only by special 
arrangement. (SECRET W) 

Secretary of State 

8050, December 9, midnight 
WRB from McClelland 

Delegation^ 7594 November 17* 

I have received following reliable information from a man who 
left Bratislava eight days ago concerning situation of Jews in Slovakia 
as of December one. 

About 900 Jews in Bratislava and some 2500 to 3000 in provinces 
(German occupied) have succeeded in hiding and hitherto escaping de¬ 
portation. Only around 150 people are left in camp at Sered, mainly 
half Jews "mischlingeun" and dewish partners of mixed marriages. As 
reported in Legation*s 7802 November 28, eight dews entitled to Ameri¬ 
can citizenship were left at Marianka by Germans. Virtually all other 
Jews have been deported. 

* a 


DATED December 1944 
REG*D 7:37 p.m. 


- 856 - 






Dated March 30, 1944 
Rac'd 6:40 p.m. 

Secretary of State, 



95, March 30. 

My 94, March 29, 7 p.m. 

The Greek Prime Minister has today Issued a declaration as 
follows in translation: 

"On the 24th of March 1944 President Roosevelt in a momentous 
declaration denounced once more to the civilized world the crimes of 
our bloodstained enemies who, with increased intensity, particularly 
in the Balkans and Hungary continue, by slaughter and the torments of 
starvation to exterminate thousands of human beings. The language 
used by President Roosevelt was the language of the inexorable Justice 
which will before long punish the perpetrators of these unprecedented 
crimes, together with their satellites and accomplices. This declara¬ 
tion constitutes also, in the highest sense, an expression of human 
solidarity with all the victims of these barbarous outrages. 

The Hellenic Government, fully sharing the views and feelings of 
the eminent leader of their great Ally the United States of America 
address to all Helenes the request that they take particular notice 
of his recommendation that the Allied Balkan peoples help in the rescue 
and escape to neutral or friendly countries of the Jews now threatened 
by new and inhuman persecution or of any other victims of Nazi tyranny." 

Copies of this text have been furnished the OWX for broadcasting 
to the Balkans and the Greek Government will include the statement to¬ 
gether with the declaration by the President in its broadcasts to Greece 
over the Egyptian State broadcasting station. 

In addition the Greek Information Office here is releasing the 
message for use by the local and foreign press and the Foreign Office 
is telegraphing the Greek text to its Embassies in London and Washing¬ 
ton for release to the American and British Greek language press. 


- 357 - 




FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: American Legation, Bern 

BATED; May 13, 1944 
NUMBER: 1672 


This 18 WRB cable to Bern No. 17 for McClelland 
Consul at Istanbul reports substantially as follows: 

"All registered Jews in Greece were confined in Haidari concen¬ 
tration camp late March. On April 2 , 4000 were evacuated from camp 
to unknown destination, believed to be Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia. 
Repatriation was ordered for Portuguese, Turkish and Spanish Jews. 
Assistance has been complicated by these developments since there are 
officially no Jews in Greece, the Jews who are registered having been 
removed while the Jews in hiding have lost the last remnant of rights 
through failure on their uart to comply with registration order issued 
by the Germans." 

Missions at Istanbul, Madrid and Lisbon have been instructed to 
obtain action to help victims in Greece claiming the nationalities 
of the respective countries. The American representative in the 
Vatican City has been requested to obtain the cooperation of the Holy 

You are requested to ask Intercross to bring all possible aid to 
said victims, including those evacuated from Greece. Would appreciate 
information as to destination of evacuees. 




- 858 - 




FROM: Secl'etary of State, Washington 


DATED: April 26, 1944 

NUMBER: 257 


War Refugee Board most appreciate /Sic7 your reports on 
conditions and refugee problems in Greece. Reference your dispatch 
2680, March 18, Board would welcome further development by you your 
suggestions for evacuation Greek Jews and non-Greek refugees with 
cooperation EAM and Allied escape services. Board believes it can 
arrange for funds and such additional assistance as may be necessary 
to permit escape from Greece victims of enemy oppression who are in 
imminent danger of death, regardless of their religion, nationality 
or stateless status. Please telegraph estimate amount required to 
initiate your proposals. 

Your cooperation in this matter will be most appreciated. 

Repeated to Ankara and MacVeigh at Cairo as Department 1 a no. 373 
arid no. 953, respectively. 


- 859 - 




MHT - 797 


DATED February 15, 1944 
REC'D 9:55 p.m. 

Secretary of State, 


1274 fifteenth 

Confidential for Limited Distribution. 

Director of ISC respectfully requests expedient arrangements for 
transport of Spanish republican refugees to Mexico in following letter 
dated February fourteenth in reference to Embassy's letter based on 
Department's telegraphic instruction toward end Decembers 

"Will you kindly refer to your letter of the thirty-first December 
1943 relating to the removal of Spanish republican refugees from North 
Africa to Mexico. I have now received the first report from Malin date* 
the thirtieth January 1944 written from Algiers in which he says that 
the employment of Spanish refugees who were released from camps last 
year is likely to decrease and that some two or three thousand who have 
been in the French Foreign Legion are likely soon to be demobilised. 

The Spanish problem is thus becoming very urgent and I should be 
grateful if this fact could be brought to the attention of the State 
Department with a view to expediting the arrangements with Mexico. - 


- 860 - 




This telegram must be 
paraphrased before being 
communicated to anyone 
other than a Government 

March 6, 1944 

Agency. (BE) 


American Consul 

Durban, (Hatal, Union of South Africa) 


The War Refugee Board has received several reports of the existence 
of suffering and disease among refugees on the Island of Mauritius. 

There appear to be two groups of such refugees on the Island. There 
are about l&OO, probably Ciech refugees, who attempted to enter Pales¬ 
tine and were deported to Mauritius. There are also approximately 
1000 Greek refugees. It is with respect to the first group that we 
have received the most unfavorable reports as to living and health 

It would be appreciated if you would institute a check of this 
matter Indicating the total number of refugees on the Island of 
Mauritius, what percentage of them are Jewish, and the general living 
conditions of these refugees with particular emphasis upon the pre¬ 
valence of disease and malnutrition. Tou might also indicate what is 
needed by way of relief• 




- 261 - 



This telegram must 'be 
paraphrased "before being 



DAT2D March 20* 1944 
HSC*D 1 p,m. 

communicated to anyone 
other than a Government 
Agency. (BR) 

Secretary of State 


9, March 20, noon 

With reference to your Bo. 8, March 6, 6 p.m., according to 
information obtained from Jewish board of deputies there are 1500 
Jewish refugees in detention camp at Bean basin* Mauritius* 600 
from Czechoslovakia rest from Austria, Germany, Poland, Russia and 


Malnutrition is general as Mauritius is unable to meet demands* 

50 expectant mothers suffer from lack of vitamins. Children in poor 
health and considerable eye trouble because of malnutrition. Some 
malaria and heart disease* Refugees from cold climate affected by 
tropical conditions. 

Refugees not allowed to leave camp* Daily rations might be 
supplemented by purchases from Chinese shop but prices high and allowance 
of four shillings and six pence per month (repeat per month) limits 

Requirements dried milk dehydrated vegetables and fruit and 
medicines for malaria and heart ailments. Clothes badly needed* 


- 862 - 




Am embassy 


July 4, 1944 

5256 fourth 

Please promptly Inform Mr. Albert Guigui and Mr. Rene Rous, 
Transport House, Smith Square, S.W.I., London, that Treasury Depart¬ 
ment has issued license No. W-2215 to French Relief Fund, Inc., 

New York, permitting them as disbursing trustees for French Relief 
Fund, Inc., to carry out in enemy territory a relief and evacuation 
program. The text of such license is identical to license No. W-2153 
issued to United Czechoslovak Relief which was the subject of the De¬ 
partment's telegram of March 31, 1944, No. 2518, except that Section 
v2) of the instant license reads; "The total amount of funds paid 
out or set up in blocked accounts or otherwise obligated under the 
terms of this license shall not exceed the amount of dollars (or the 
foreign currency equivalent thereof) authorized by specific Treasury 
licenses to be used under this license." In this connection. Treasury 
has issued to French Relief Fund, Inc., a specific license for the 
remittance of $150,000 to Mr. Guigui and/or Mr. Rous for purpose of 
financing the program contemplated in the Instant license. These 
operations have the approval of the Department, the War Refugee Board 
and Treasury. For your guidance, pertinent comments and recommenda¬ 
tions made by the Department in its telegram No. 2518, March 31, cited 
above, are fully applicable to license No. fc-2215. 


- 863 - 




Distribution of true 
reading only by special 
arrangement. (SECRET W) 

Secretary of State, 


2569, July 11, 9 p.m. 


We have had several discussions with Polish Minister here, 
and his staff, regarding the difficulties being experienced in 
providing suitable assistance to Polish refugees here, who approxi¬ 
mate 500. Due to their limited vocational training, most of the 
employables have found work only on road construction or in the 
forests, at very low wages. Consequently, their income must be 
supplemented to provide them with even minimum living standards. 

The Polish Legation has established a Polish Social Welfare Bureau, 
but financial support from the Exile Government in London is so 
limited that even now only half the necessary funds are supplied 
and the balance is borrowed locally with the hope that London will 
cover. Swedish charitable organizations are helping but this assis¬ 
tance is somewhat limited. 


DATED: July 11, 1944 
REC'D: 10:30 p.m. 

The situation is further complicated by the fact that several 
additional Polish refugees, with the help of certain Norwegian 
organizations are coming in to Sweden from Norway weekly. The 
Polish legation states that there are still approximately 6,000 
Poles in Norway as compulsory workers or war prisoners, fairly 
large numbers of whom could be brought to Sweden if funds were 
available to finance the evacuation and to maintain them after 
arrival. Apparently the Polish Legation has made only limited 
efforts in that direction because of lack of funds. 

On the basis of the foregoing discussions and a study of the 
financial requirements involved, the WRB may wish to investigate 
whether an organization can be found which is in a position to con¬ 
tribute $15,000 monthly, for the next few months, to a general pro- 
g ™? ° f assisting Polish refugees here and to further the rescue of 
additional Poles from neighboring enemy-occupied territory. It 

** added ** this connection, that there are also approximate¬ 
ly 300 in Finland who are stated to be in immediate danger Anv 

! h o Uld ^ tran8mitt * d " Polska Social Ahjalpen for^lyktSar" 
(Polish Society for Refugee Help), which has an account at ^ 
Skandinaviska Banken. 


- 364 - 



3 JR - 667 

Distribution of true 
reading only by special 
arrangement. (SECRET W) 

Secretary of State, 

2668, July 18, 9 p.m. 


DATED s July 18, 1944 
REC'D; 10:39 p.m. 


We have explored extensively with Polen-Hjalpen of Malmo the 
nature of their relief activities in Poland and its facilities for 
extending its scope of operations. This organization is working 
very closely with the Polish and Swedish Red Cross and appears to 
have been effective in carrying out its operations. It is 
ly sending food parcels, stemped Swedish Red Cross, to Poland and 
clear confirmation of delivery of these parcels to ^imatebene- 
ficiaries has been obtained. It has also been very active in send 
inp relief supplies to Polish orphanages, nurseries and children s 
hospitals, in Warsaw and elsewhere, and due to good connections 
with appropriate persons inside Poland, it is understood to be ob¬ 
taining remarkable results. These supplies have included paper\ 
clothing, condensed milk, vitamins, egg powder, other dried food- 
stuffs and nursery equipment. On several occasions, even recently, 
an entire railroad car of supplies has been sent to these children s 
homes, and it is stated proof of delivery has always been obtained. 

While it is difficult to foresee to what extent the changing 
war outlook will alter current methods of Polish relief operations, 
it is clear that at the moment, at least, Polen-Hjalpen is operat¬ 
ing actively with an established record of effectiveness. At the 
present moment it has received urgent requests from Poland for sub¬ 
stantial amounts of paper clothing for children as well as for basic 
foodstuffs and vitamins. It does not have the funds to meet require¬ 
ments in full and could make immediate use of $25,000 to carry out 
its program. We have discussed Polen-Hjalpen with the Polish lega¬ 
tion here, which speaks most highly of its effectiveness and ex¬ 
presses the strong hope that American financial assistance can be 
obtained to enable the organization to carry out its current 


- 865 - 



FROM: American Embassy, Ankara 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: May 25, 1944 

NUMBER: 950 



Following is Ankara No. 63 from the Ambassador for the War 
Refugee Board. 

Reference is made herewith to Department’s cable dated Mey 23, 
No. 458. 

I am informed by the Turk authorities that their information 
regarding treatment of Jews in Hungary is limited because of the 
fact that since former Minister Kallay took refuge in the Turk 
Legation in Budapest, the German Gestapo has guarded the building 
and contacts and movements of the Turk Minister and his staff have 
been severely restricted. 

It is indicated from such information as the Turk authorities 
have been able to fhmish me, supplemented by information from 
other authoritative sources, that at the time of the German occu¬ 
pation there were about 750,000 Jews in Hungary including about 
25,000 Jewish refugees mostly from Slovakia and seme from Poland. 
Approximately 200,000 of this total are to be in various concen¬ 
tration camps in Hungary. It is said that large deportations to 
Poland have begin from these concentration camps. Up to Ifey 15 
it is believed that no Jews have been removed from Budapest or its 
environs. However, a report has been received since that date to 
the effect that the transfer of Jews from Budapest to concentration 
camps in Hungary is imminent. 

Two days ago an individual by the name of Joel Brandt* docu¬ 
mented as the representative of the Jewish Community of Budapegt, 
arrived in Istanbul and submitted to Barlas of the Jew!Mi Agency 
a proposal which it is said originated with the Commissioner for 
Jewish Affairs, Eichman, to the effect that in exchange for two 
million cakes of soap, two hundred tens of cocoa, eight hundred 
tens of coffee, two hundred tons of tea, and ten thousand trucks 
Eichman would agree to stop the deportation and extermination of 
Jews in all areas which the Germans occupy and including Rumania, 
and he would further agree to permit the exit of Jewish limited 
numbers to Palestine and in unlimited numbers to Spain. 


- 866 - 



FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: American Embassy, Ankara 

DATED: June 9/ 1944 

NUMBER: 514 



Reference is made to your Ankara No. 63 dated May 25, for the 
War Refugee Board, concerning a proposal for the release of Jews 
from enemy territory submitted to Bari as by Joel Brandt. 

This proposal was the subject of an Aide Memoirs delivered 
to the Department by Lord Halifax on June 5* With the Aide Memoirs 
there was transmitted the text of a telegram received by the 
British Foreign Office from the High Coinaissicner, Jerusalem, con¬ 
cerning the proposal in question. For your information the fol¬ 
lowing is the text of the said telegram: 

Telegram No. 683 

From: High Commissioner, Jerusalem 

To: Foreign Office 

Ben Gurlon and Shertok came to see me this morning and stated 
as follows: 

Special messenger started from Turkey on May 22nd and readied 
Jerusalem May 24th bringing them statement from their representa¬ 
tives in Istanbul (Barlas etc.) to following effect. 

Cki May 19th well known and trusted Zionist representative in 
Hungary Joel Brandt arrived in German aircraft in Istanbul from 
Vienna accompanied by a Hungarian Gestapo agent who has several 
aliases (e.g. Andrew George, Andrew Gross) and who so far as is 
known is still in Turkey. Brandt has been sent to Turkey with 
this man as watchdog by high German Gestapo chiefs in Budapest 
to place the following order before Jewish leaders in Palestine, 
England and America, and before the high Allied authorities. 

As an alternative to complete annihilation of all Jews re¬ 
maining in Hungary, Rumania, Czechoslovakia and Poland, the Nazis 
are ready to evacuate one million Jews from these countries to 
Spain and Portugal (though not, as they specifically stated, to 
Palestine). In return they require delivery of 10,000 motor 
lorries and certain quantities of coffee, tea, cocoa mid soap. 

As an act of good faith they are prepared, once the offer has 
been accepted in principle to release first batch of five to ten 

- 867 - 

thousand Jews before receipt of corresponding consideration* They” 
are also prepared to exchange Jews against German prisoners of 
****** the offer is rejected they will proceed with their pro¬ 
gramme of wholesale liquidation. The emissary must return to 
Budapest with a reply within a fortnight from May 19th. 

2. Brandt has the impression that these negotiation^ can be 
prolonged if evidence is forthcoming that scheme is being earnestly 
considered in high Allied quarters. It is also believed that sub¬ 
stitution of cash payments In Switzerland for deliveries in kind 
wholly or in part is not to be excluded and both sides barter 
transaction, namely evacuation and compensation can be realized 
by successive stages. 

3* Brandt reports that 300#000 Hungarian Jews are already 
herded In concentration camps as a preliminary to deportation. 

The rounding up of other Jews is in progress. Plans have been 
made for daily deportation to Polish slaughter houses of 12,000 
Jews of means but this is presumed to have been deferred pending 
negotiations. This report of the position In Hungary is said to 
be fully corroborated by various Hungarian Jewish eye witnesses 
who reached Palestine on May 24th. 

4. In the light of the above and past experience agency 
fears that the fate of Hungarian, Czechoslovak and Rumanian Jews 
is sealed unless they can be saved in time and "they firmly hope 
that the magnitude and seemingly fantastic character of the proposi¬ 
tion will not deter the high Allied authorities from undertaking a 
concerted and determined effort to save the greatest possible num¬ 
ber. They fully realize the over-whelming difficulties but believe 
they might not prove insurmountable if the task is faced with bold¬ 
ness demanded by unprecedented catastrophe." 

5. Siertok is proceeding to Istanbul as soon as he can (i.e* 
probably within a few days) for a more complete elucidation of the 
facts and will report to His Majesty’s Ambassador Ankara. 

6. Agency is keeping all the above Information strictly 
secret and wishes us to do likewise but they ask that His Majesty’s 
Government should at once communicate it on the same terms to 
Washington and that the sole exceptions to the official secret 
should be 

(A) Dr. Weizman personally to be informed by His Ifajesty* s 

(B) Dr. Goldman personally to be informed by the bhited 
States authorities. 

I enquired whether the agenqy desired any other specific ac¬ 
tion than cozanunication8 referred to in preceding paragraph pending 


- 868 - 

Siertok' s enquiries aid report to Hie Majesty' a Ambassador Ankara, 
and they replied In the negative. 

We are Informed that the British Ambassador at Ankara has been 
Instructed to discuss this matter with you in the strictest confi¬ 

We have discussed this matter with Ira Hirschmann who is 
scheduled to leave for Turkey on June 11. He will convey our 
views more fully to you when he arrives. 

We agree with the British that serious suggestions by the 
Germans to release Jews and other persecuted minorities which are 
compatible with the successful prosecution of the war should net 
be rejected outright but should be given consideration. While we 
have not, of course, been able to make a definitive judgment as to 
the character of the offer in question, we feel that it is impor¬ 
tant to keep the door open while this matter is being explored. 

Although we obviously could not enter into any understanding 
with the Germans in a matter of this kind except after consultation 
with both the British and the Soviet Governments, we feel strongly 
that pending further developments and discussions with these two 
governments every effort should be made to convince the Germans 
that this Government is sufficiently concerned with the problem 
that it is willing to consider genuine proposals for the rescue 
and relief of the Jews and other victims. 

Accordingly, you should arrange to convey to Joel Brandt at 
cnce through Barlas or otherwise the fact that this Government 
is sending a Special Representative of the War Refugee Board to 
Ankara, who is fully acquainted with the views of this Government 
concerning the proposal. It should be indicated that this repre¬ 
sentative will arrive in Ankara within a fortnight. 

For your information, the sole purpose of conveying this fact 
to Brandt is to let it be knowi that this Government has not closed 
the door. Hirschmann will, of course, act only under your instruc¬ 

We are advising the British Embassy here of this action. 

Please advise us urgently of all developments and any further in¬ 
formation which you may have. Foregoing was repeated to American 
Embassy, Moscow, to be transmitted to Soviet Government. 


- 869 - 




EHQMs Secretary of State, Washington 


DATED: July 7, 1944 

NUMBER: 1641 



Reference is made to Depths 1460 of June 9 and 1529 of June 

21 and to your cable 2184 of June 19, The following additional 

facts are now available, 

(1) Joel Brandt is presently being held in custody at Cairo 
after having previously proceeded to Jerusalem for discussions 
there. There have been discussion? in Cairo between the American 
and British authorities, Brandt and Shertok of the Jewish Agency 
for Palestine. 

(2) Gyorgy, who arrived from Vienna with Brandt on May 19, 

was taken into custody by Turkish officials on May 25, released 

in a few hours and departed for Cairo where he is held in custody 

with Brandt. 

( 3 ) Shertok of the Jewish Agency is in London pursuing 
conversations with officials of the British Government. 

( 4 ) Word has been received through the Jewish Agency, that 
the Gestapo are very angry about the failure of Brandt and Gyorgy 
to return to German territory. The Gestapo is alleged to have 
indicated that Brandt 1 3 Journey was merely a preliminary to future 
discussions to be carried on in Lisbon by Schroeder, presumably a 
Gestapo agent. The British Government has proposed that Brandt and 
Gyorgy be permitted to return to Budapest with message that Allied 
circles are concerned with the fate of Jews and ready to consider 
any practicable scheme for relieving their fate and that Brandt 
understands that the Allies will convey their views through the 
protecting power and that the German Government might shortly 
expect to hear something through this source. 

( 5 ) Although no such information was contained in our earlier 
reports with regard to this matter, it now appears that Brandt has 
indicated in several informal conversations that the German Govern¬ 
ment would be willing to agree that the 10,000 trucks would not 
(repeat not) be used on the western front. 

(6) We are requesting Ambassador Steinhardt to forward to 
you promptly Ankara despatches to the Department Nos. 676 of June 
5 and 679 of June 8 which supply additional background information 
with respect to this matter. 

- 870 - 

(7) British Ambassador in Moscow has cabled the British 
Foreign Office suggesting that the information on the trucks will 
increase the possibility of a completely negative response from 
the Soviet Government. Nevertheless it is the feeling here that 
information with respect to the trucks should he presented directly 
at this time in order that the Soviet Government he fully informed. 

He also believes that Brandt and Gyorgy should not he permitted to 
return to Budapest until the attitude of the Soviet Government on 
this point has been determined. 

(8) Two additional proposals for the release of Jews from 
enemy territory have been received through Stockholm and Bern, the 
details of which will be sent to you for transmission to the Soviet 
Government promptly. 


It is requested that this matter be taken up with the Soviet 
Government in such manner as you deem aonropriate and all of the 
facts brought to the attention of the Soviet Government promptly 
within your discretion and after concurrence with your British 

It should be emphasized to the Soviet Government that neither 
this Government nor the British Government has been deceived as to 
the character of this alleged offer of the German Government and 
that the two governments have been convinced from the outset that 
the offer is part and parcel of the German psychological warfare 
effort. This is borne out particularly by the facts which have 
now come to light on the alleged German willingness to guarantee 
that the trucks would not be used on the Western Front. 

You will understand the reluctance of the British and American 
Governments to shut the door completely to any offer. Other offers 
of this nature are expected and eventually one may be received which 
can be given serious consideration. It is our view that by appearing 
to explore such matters we not only have the possibility of saving 
lives while the discussions are going on. but also clearly leave 
the way open for further offers which we anticipate and which might 
possibly be made in good faith*. 

You should inform the Soviet Government that we are fully aware 
of the undesirability of such direct contacts with representatives 
of the German Government and we are searching for a method of rescue 
through the intermediary of the Swiss. Details of any practical 
proposal will be communicated to the Soviet Government and the 
Soviet Government will of course be currently informed of develop¬ 
ments and no action will be taken without prior agreement with the 
Soviet and British Governments. 

- 871 - 

It is suggested that you consult fully with the British 
Ambassador with respect to this matter and in disucssions with the 
Soviet Government make it clear, if the British Ambassador is in 
agreement, that the views expressed by you are also the views of 
the British Government* The British authorities here are in 

Repeated to Ankara as no. 614 for Steinhardt; Cairo as no* 
1727 for Tuck; and London as no. 5353 for Winant* 





FROM: American Embassy, Moscow 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: June 19, 1944 

NUMBER: 2184 


Reference is made herewith to Department's cable of June 9, 
No. 1460, and Embassy's cable of June 15, No. 2142, concerning 
proposals of the War Refugee Board. 

There has been received by the Embassy from Vy shinski a 
secret note dated June 18 stating that there have been brought to 
the attention of the Soviet Government the contents of finbassy's 
note dated June 15, and that Vyshinski has been instructed by 
the Soviet Government to state that it does not consider it per¬ 
missible or expedient to carry on any conversations whatsoever 
with the German Government on the questions which the note from 
the Embassy touched upon. 


- 873 - 







January 29, 1945. 

R e c'd: 

February 17, 1945, 5 p.m 


Secretary of State, 

Washington, D. C. 

A-27, January 29, 1 p.ra. 

Departments telegram 35, January 6, 4 p.m. with reference to 
schemes for ransoming Jews in German hands* 

Ambassador Harriman was not able before his departure from 
Moscow to give attention to this matter. 

After giving careful consideration to the request made by the 
War Refugee Board, I am obliged to say that 1 do not feel that it 
would be in the interests of our Government to transmit this in¬ 
formation to the Soviet Government. In view of the extreme sus¬ 
picion with which the Soviet Government views all financial trans¬ 
actions with Germany conducted through Swiss channels and in view 
of the marked lack of enthusiasm with which communications on this 
subject have been received in the past, I feel that to impart this 
information to the Soviet Foreign Office would have the effect of 
undermining confidence here in the integrity of our economic war¬ 
fare effort and would thus be definitely detrimental to our in¬ 

The Soviet Government is well aware of the sufferings being 
inflicted on victims of Kazi persecution of every race and nation¬ 
ality. Their own citizens have been done to death by the Germans 
in numbers which, they believe, run into the millions. Hundreds 
of thousands of their citizens are apparently 'still believed to 
be held in detention in Germany. Soviet circles feel that the 
Soviet Union through its war effort is doing the best that can 
be dene to bring to an end this reign of terror and thus to re¬ 
lieve the sufferings of all these unfortunate people, Russians 
and foreigners alike. 

The Soviet Government apparently does not believe, a? a 
matter of principle, in dickering with bandits, and has generally 

- 874 - 

taken the position with regard to its own people that the interest 
of the Soviet State and of the Allied powers in general override 
the interests of those groups who are unfortunate enough to fall 
into the hands of the enemy. The idea of ransoming any of these 
people by the payment of sums which can help the Germans to pro¬ 
long their war effort will not only fail to appeal to the Russians 
but will be interpreted by them as a form cf betrayal of general 
United Nations interests on our part. In particular they will 
fail to understand why these efforts should be directed to the 
relief of one category of victims of Nazi terror and not others. 

I an afraid that an explanation to the effect that the transfer 
of these funds to Switzerland was only a half measure and that we 
have not yet decided whether or not to release them, will not do 
anything to improve the impression which this communication would 

I would therefore strongly recommend that this matter not be 
communicated to the Soviet Government. 








- 875 - 



July 27, 1944 


Mr* Stettinius 
J* W. Pehle 

Late in the afternoon of July 26, George Warren called to ray 
attention a telegram from the British Mission in Madrid to the 
British Foreign Office dated July 20, and the reply of the Foreign 
ffice thereto of the sane date, hoth with respect to a proposed 
meeting between Dr. Schwartz of the JDC and a representative of 
the German authorities to take place in Spain or Portugal in the 
near future. 

This same matter is also referred to in a cable from Ankara 
No. 1320 of July 20. 

I promptly requested Warren to despatch a cable to Lisbon 
requesting the Embassy to instruct Schwartz not to have any 
meeting whatsoever with the German authorities pending instructions 
from Washington. 

After carefully considering this matter it is our firm view 
that Schwartz should be given definitive instructions not to have 
any meeting with the German authorities. There is at least a 
reasonable chance that the Germans are attempting to maneuver us 
into a situation which would enable them to create suspicions in 
the mind of the Soviet Government that the British and American 
Governments are trying to establish an independent contact with 
the German Government, not limited to refugee matters. Particularly 
at tnis stage of the war it seems to me imperative that any 
possibility of this happening should be avoided. Secondly, even 
assuming that the Germans are in good faith willing to negotiate on 
refugee matters, cable No. 1320 of July 20 from Ankara indicates 
that the Germans are not interested in a purely financial arrangement 
but are going to insist on some supply of commodities. There is no 
disposition here or elsewhere in this Government to my knowledge 
to even negotiate on supplying the Germans with commodities. Thirdly, 
it is my view that no such meeting should be held without the urior 
approval of the Russian and British Governments. In view of the 
attitude which both of these governments have expressed and the 
time factor involved it seems clear that no such aonroval could be 


Accordingly, I strongly urge that definitive instructions be 
sent which will effectively prevent any meeting between Schwartz and 
tne German representative. I would also urge that the American 
Missions in Lisbon, Madrid and Ankara be advised of this action and 
the British be informed of our decision. 

I am sending a copy of this memorandum to Assistant Secretary 
McCloy of the War Department for his information. 

- 376 - 




Distribution of true 

July 28, 1944 
5 p # m. 

reading only by special 
arrangement. (SECRET-W) 





With further reference to Department's 2101 of July 27 you 
are requested to advise Schwartz representative of *oint Distribution 
Committee that after thorough consideration of all available facts 
decision has been reached that Schwartz should not (repeat not) 
have any contact or communication with Schroeder or any other 
German agent at Ligbon or at any other place. 




- 877 - 




FROM: American Legation, Bern 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: August 11, 1944 

NUMBER: 5197 


McClelland sends the fallowing for the War Refugee Board. 

Reference is made herewith to Department’s cable of August 2, 
No. 2656, and Legation’s messages of August 3, Nos. 4972 and 4974* 
and of August 5, No. 5043* 

There has just reached Switzerland several reports dated the 
end of July from reliable Jewish sources in Bidapest (Kasztner, 
Komoly and Perez) which shed additional light on the present situ¬ 
ation of Jews in Hungary with regard especially to ransom and emi¬ 
gration aspects of the problem. In spite of the preliminary 
reassuring news of the agreement between the ICRC and the Hungarian 
Government to allow Jewish emigration to Palestine and elsewhere 
and relief to Jews remaining in Hungary it now seems that ranking 
Gestapo agents of so called ”Sandereinsats Komnand” specially sent 
to Budapest to direct the deportation of Jews have no intention 
of permitting them to emigrate freely, especially to Palestine, 
if they can prevent it. After the attack on Hitler and following 
the rapid worsening of the German military situation, the Gestapo 
in Budapest shifted their interest from the biological aspect of 
Jewish extermination to the purely material benefits in goods, 
labor and money to be derived therefrom. The essence of their 
present attitude is contained in declaration of Gestapo Head to 
Kasztner to the effect that he wished to pump out the necessary 
labor from Hungary Jewry, and sell the balance of valueless human 
material against valuable goods. 

Oh the other hand, the Hungarian Government led by Horthy 
apparently has been frightened not only into stopping deportation 
(July 9) but also into trying to make up for the unsavory role it 
has already played in the persecution and deportation of Jews by 
favoring their emigration and relief to them under the supervision 
of ICRC. Krausz of the Jewish Agency for Palestine accordingly 
has been permitted to set up an office in the Swiss Legation where 
they are actively preparing the emigration to Palestine of 8700 
families previously mentioned. 

We have already obtained Hungarian exit and Rumanian transit 
permission for the first convoy of 2000 people and it is reported 
that boats are available at Con stanza. German exit permits from 
Hungary have not been granted and according to statements which 

- 378 - 

the Gestapo chief made to Kasztner they trill not be granted unless 
certain ransom terms are fulfilled. 

When Joel Brandt's mission to Istanbul (please see Legation's 
cable of July 5, No. 4258) failed to produce concrete results and 
he did not return to Hungary but instead went on to Jerusalem, In 
the face of obvious German displeasure, desperate efforts were 
made by Jewish circles in Budapest to keep negotiations with the 
Gestapo going by raising goods and valuables from local sources to 
a value of 3 million Swiss francs and by stating that a credit of 
2 million francs would be opened in Switzerland to cover purchase 
goods (tractors) there and in Slovakia (sheepskins). The affair 
of 40 tractors which Sternbuch brought to our attention (see Le¬ 
gation's message of July 26, No. 4802) was part of this deal 
which Link and Freudiger of the orthodox group at Budapest nego¬ 
tiated and relayed to Sternbuch. Ch the basis of these offers, the 
Gestapo in Budapest refrained from sending to Auschwitz during 
the Initial period of deportations the following groups totaling 
17290 souls. 

1. 1690 people of whom the 1200 prominent Orthodox Jews 
and Rabbis mentioned previously seem to have been a part. This 
group was sent via Bratislava to Strasshof In Austria and later 
to the camp of Bergen-Belsen In Germany where they are now. 

2. Approximately 15,000 persons were sent to unknown destina¬ 
tions in Austria to be kept "on ice" as was stated by the Gestapo; 
and 600 persons are still confined in Budapest. 

These various offers were made as a stop gap in the desperate 
hope that in the meantime Brandt's negotiations would be success- 
ftil and thus render superfluous these makeshift deals. As Kaszt- 
ner writes, we were forced to enter upon such negotiations to win 
time or do nothing. Apparently he was further encouraged by a 
message dated June 30 from Barlas of the Jewish Agency In Istanbul 
saying that funds would be available for the prevention of depor¬ 
tation and for ondgraticn. 

The desire was expressed ty Gestapo representatives In 
Budapest to meet Joseph Schwartz of JDC In Lisbon to discuss the 
terms of psyment and release of 17290 Jews who were to be permitted 
to go to Spain according to the original agreement. After the 
attempt on Hitler's life, the meeting place was changed to Irun cn 
the Franco Spanish border on orders from Berlin andWollowlng the 
unwillingness of Schwartz to meet them at all, the Germans agreed 
to meet Saly Mayer Instead as a neutral citizen at Austro-Swiss 
border cn or about the 13th of August. As proof of their "good 
faith" and on the insistence of Kasztner, the Germans also un¬ 
conditionally agreed to release the convoy of 500 people from 
Bergen-Belsen which would be permitted to come to Switzerland. 

- 879 - 

Finally assurances were given by the Germans that until the ques¬ 
tion had been discussed with JVC representatives no deportations 
of the 17290 Jews would take place. 

A Gestapo agent on July 21 visited Jewish groups in Bratis¬ 
lava who assured him 300 tractors were available in Switzerland, 

A very favorable impression was created by this news with the 
Gestapo chief in Budapest, since as is reported by Kasztner, trac¬ 
tors are what are most desired and used here. Before Joel Brandt's 
departure, the Gestapo in Budapest had declared that they were 
willing to trade 1000 Jews for every 10 tractors and even went so 
far as to give assurance that if the delivery of the tractors was 
begun seriously "they would destroy the 'plants' at Auschwitz." 

It is my personal opinion, in light o^ this information, that 
Saly Mayer should be permitted to meet Gestapo agents (provided 
that his own Government, with which the matter has been discussed, 
approves and grants the necessary border permits for German agents) 
in an effort to draw out the negotiations and gain as much time as 
possible without, if possible, making any commitments, I reconmend- 
ed to Saly and he concurred that preliminary message be sent to 
Budapest postponing the scheduled meeting for a few days pending 
the arrival of a letter to be dispatched on August 10 to Budapest 
by courier, the letter to state in turn that no meeting can take 
place before the arrival in Switzerland of the convoy of 500. In 
view of the rapidly changing military situation, any time gained 
is In favor of the endangered Jews. On the other hand, before 
Saly goes to such a meeting, we must have some very definite ex¬ 
pression of your opinion, in case it is impossible to stall, 
whether any commitments whatsoever on the basis of either tractors, 
money or both can be entered upon. You should also bear in mind 
the fact that the Gestapo chief in Budapest has already declared 
that not one of the 40,000 Jews whose emigration to Palestine is 
now being planned will be allowed to depart from Hungary unless 
tractors are secured for them. Concerning the first sentence of 
Department's cable of August 2, Bo. 2656, I am not personally able 
to assume the responsibility for final decision in a serious 
matter of this sort. However, my own opinion is that apart from 
the manoeuver to gain time, at this juncture it is impossible to 
embark upon a program of buying Jews out of Nazi hands, especi¬ 
ally in exchange for goods which might enable the enemy to pro¬ 
long the war. Farther, there is no assurance that the Swiss Govern¬ 
ment would be willing to allow the entry of Jewish refugees from 
Hungary into Switzerland whose release had been secured by ransom 


- 880 - 




FROM: Secretary of State, "Washington 

TO: American Legation, Bern 

DATE: August 21, 1944 

NUMBER: 2867 


From WRB for attention of McClelland. 

Reference is made herewith to the Legation's August 11 cable 
No. 5197 relative to the Hungarian situation. 

We have given full and careful consideration to the matters 
mentioned In cable under reference and for your information and 
guidance the following views of the Board are given below: 

One. It is still the intention of this Government to pursue 
all means practicable to relieve the desperate plight of Jews in 
Hungary, however, ransom transactions of the nature indicated ty 
German authorities cannot be entered into or authorized. 

Two. If it is felt that a meeting between Saly Mayer and the 
German authorities would have possible effect of gaining time the 
Board does not object to such a meeting. In event meeting is held 
Saly Mayer should participate as a Swiss citizen and leader of 
Swiss Jewish Community, and not as a representative of any Ameri- 
can organization. 

The foregoing message has been repeated to Stockholm as No* 
1671, London as No. 6661, and Ankara as No. 726 with this opening 
sentence: Following message is WRB's reply to Bern cable quoted 
in substance in Department's August 21 cable No. 2867 and is for- 
warded for your information* 

- 831 - 



FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO; American Legation, Beni 

DATED: August 30, 1944 

NUMBER: 2990 



Reference your 5588 of August 26, 1944. Please express to 
Saly Mayer the Board's appreciation for the excellent manner in 
»hich he is handling a most difficult task. 

The Board is in full accord with your view that it is of the 
utmost importance that every effort must be made to extend the 
period of negotiation and thereby gain time. The Board is con¬ 
fident that by adroit handling Saly Mayer can take further steps 
without entering into any irrevocable engagement, and can mini¬ 
mize the danger of negotiations being broken off. It should be 
made clear to Mayer that there is no possibility of obtaining any 
material of any military value. Mayer, however, is in a position 
to indicate that there are funds anointing to at least $2,000,000 
in the United States available to him, and it is suggested that 
negotiations looking toward the payment of monetary consideration 
be extended as long as possible in order to gain time. However, 
no commitment to make any such payment can be entered into without 
approval here. We are not at all convinced that large monetary 
payments to the German Government would be successful, and under 
present circumstances, we could not approve any such commitment. 

Saly Mayer should inform the conferees that he can not (re¬ 
peat not) hope to secure any authorization for Switzerland or any 
other neutral country to deliver additional goods to Germany with¬ 
out a more precise definition of the nature and quantity of the 
goods desired. Thus, he may properly ask them to submit, as you 
suggest, a list of their desiderata, so that he may be placed in a 
better position to negotiate for the necessary authorizations. 

This procedure should afford at least one aid, if the conferees 
are not prepared to submit such a list at once possibly two addi¬ 
tional adjournments. When such a list is submitted, Saly Mayer 
can prolong the negotiations by placing the discussions cn a tech¬ 
nical basis. The foregoing are but suggestions and the Board re¬ 
lies on Saly Mayer guided by you to employ every possible dilatory 
tactic to prolong the negotiations. 



- 332 - 



FROM: American Legation, Bern 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: September 16, 1944 

NUMBER: 6110 


McClelland sends the following for the War Refugee Board. 

Reference is made in the following to the Legation’s July 24 
cable No. 4729; and its August 26 cable No. 5588 and the Depart¬ 
ment' s September 12 cable No. 3153* 

Discussions with the Qestapo were continued by Saly Mayer (SM) 
on September 3, 4, and 5 at St. Margarethen. Only one man from 
the German side (member of SS) was present accompanied by Wilhelm 
Bielitz and Kasztner. As instructed, SM did not negotiate in name 
of JDC but only in the name of a private Swiss Jewish organization. 
For SM these prolonged discussions devoted to gaining time without 
making any commitments, were exceedingly difficult and trying, as 
he could tell the Germans only that the matter had been referred 
to "higher quarters" and that an answer was awaited daily. Mean¬ 
while he invited the Nazis to present a detailed list of goods 
they desired and which might be found in Switzerland. Figures as 
high as one hundred million Swiss francs were talked of by the 
Nazis and they declared they would have to come to Switzerland for 
a stay of some days in order to compile exact list. Swiss authori¬ 
ties have been very reluctant to grant even temporary entry permits 
for such a purpose to present date. 

My personal opinion and that of SM also, is that all time 
possible has now been gained and that in all probability the 
Gestapo has lost patience so that these negotiations can be con¬ 
sidered as having lapsed, negptiations which after all were ulti¬ 
mately doomed to failure. 

Actually SM negotiations did not primarily concern Jews still 
in Hungary but rather those still alive and deported outside of 
Hungary into territory occupied by the Germans. 


- 333 - 



FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: American Embassy, London 

DATED: October 21, 1944 

NUMBER: 3780 



Kindly refer to Department's 5949 of July 28. 

The Department considers it desirable to inform the British 
Government of the following. The Department has been advised that 
discussions have recently taken place on the Swiss border between 
representatives of the Jewish groups in Budapest, accompanied by 
reputed Gestapo agents, and Swiss citizens representing the Swiss 
Jewish community in an effort by the latter group to forestall, if 
at all possible, the continued deportation and extermination par¬ 
ticularly of Jews from Hungary and Slovakia. The Swiss citizens 
involved in these discussions have acted in the belief that lives 
can be saved and precious time gained by prolonging discussion 
pending the solution of the problem by military action. No com¬ 
mitments or agreements have been made or authorized. The dis¬ 
cussions are currently being reported to American Jewish groups 
and any significant developments will be reported to Moscow. 

In Department's 2484 of October 20 the foregoing has also been 
transmitted to Moscow. 



- 334 - 



Distribution of true 
reading only by special 

November 18, 1944 


arrangement, (SECRET W) 





Careful consideration has been given to the subject matter 
of your cable 7565 of November 16. This is WRB Bern cable 285. 

The transaction outlined in your cable cannot (repeat not) be 
supported by the Board in any way and further it is the Board* s 
opinion that no (repeat no) funds from any source should be used 
to carry out such proposal. 

The Board has carefully considered and recognizes the force 
of your argument concerning bringing the negotiations to a close. 
In this connection however the Board is confident that you will 
take into consideration the fact that because of recent military 
developments each day that can be gained is of increasing impor¬ 


- 885 - 



Distribution of 
true reading only py 
special arrangement. 




Dated December 13, 1944 
Rec'd 9:10 p.m. 

Secretary of State 

8118, December 13, 7 p.m. 


Dept^tment*s 3932, November 18, ARB's $85. 

Pursuing negotiations last referred to in Bern's 7565 Novem¬ 
ber 16 Saly Mayer in course of my recent conversations with new 
representative which took place at St. Margaethen on Swiss German 
frontier during first week in December in an effort to get away 
from unfruitful commercial tenor of previous negotiations 
following general proposal to Germans: Extermination of all 
"Schutzhaeftlinge" particularly Jewish deportees, in German holds 
should cease. In return for this concession, which Becher at 
Budapest reports is already observing pending outcome of negotia¬ 
tions on former "goods" basis, and in response to German claims 
that maintenance of several hundred United States and Jews con¬ 
stitutes severe strain on their resources Mayer would procure the 
necessary supplies to keep Jews in German controlled areas alive. 
The proper distribution of such supplies would either be effected 
or at least supervised by ICRC. 

It is significant to note that SS representative a new nan 
named Crell sent to border by Becher did not reject Mayer*s pro¬ 
posal *prima facie" but agreed to submit it to his superior and 
even supported. Fact that Becher and Shaver attained sufficient 
interest in these negotiations to dispatch Crell to talk to Mayer 
in an attempt to learn why negotiations had "bogged down" after 
relative failure of Kettlitz mission (his Swiss visa expired and 
he had to leave country at end of November) is also noteworthy. 

Although I am personally skeptical that such a watered down 
proposal (from SS viewpoint) will hold any great interest for Ger¬ 
mans certainly nothing has been lost in making it and a few more 
precious days have been gained. 

It is, however, essential to favorable continuation of nego¬ 
tiations that Mayer know as soon as possible whether if Germans 
should accept this new proposition the credit of twenty million 
Swiss francs referred to in Department’s 3578, October 20, ARB's 
27 will be made available to him or if not in cash its equivalent 

- 886 - 

In foodstuffs, clothing, shoes and medicines. 

Mayer will undertake to persuade Germans to shift over to 
this new basis, that is allow Jews in their hands to be supported 
from outside and firmly believes that something may ccxne of it. 

Gh a purely realistic basis main advantages apparent to me 
such a proposal might offer Nazis would be to relieve them of re¬ 
sponsibility of maintaining considerable number of Jews (one which 
they can hardly be said have adequately discharged in past) and 
possibly afford certain of them opportunity to claim preferential 
treatment from Allies after war for "humanitarian acts". Imple¬ 
mentation of* such a proposal if accepted could give rise to diffi¬ 
cult question for instance whether Nazis could continue to use 
such Jews fed and clothed from outside as forced labor in support 
of German war effort. 

I recommend, however, this new proposal of Mayer’s to serious 
consideration of Board and hope that all possible support can be 
given to this most laudable effort on his part to bring negotia¬ 
tions around to an acceptable basir. 

Your early answer would be appreciated. 


- 837 - 

Distribution of true 
reading only by special 
arrangement. (SECRET W) 




The following for McClelland is WRB 328. 

Please refer to your No. 8118 of December 13, 1944. We have 
read with great interest your comments concerning the new turn 
which the negotiations have taken. We appreciate Mayer's courage 
and ingenuity. 

As we understand it, the proposal is to furnish, from Switzer¬ 
land, mder appropriate supervision, relief to Jews in German-con¬ 
trolled territory. It is impossible, however, to determine from 
your cable the exact details of Mayer 1 s proposal. In particular 
we have no way of knowing whether necessary supplies could be ob¬ 
tained in Switzerland. Nor are we able to determine whether ade¬ 
quate controls could be established through the ICRC or otherwise 
to assure that the supplies would benefit the Jews and not the 
Germans. Accordingly, it is obviously not possible at this point 
to determine whether the proposal can be approved. In any event 
the agreement of the principal Allies would presumably have to be 
obtained. If a satisfactory^ scheme can be worked out we feel sure 
that adequate funds will be available. You are authorized to ad¬ 
vise Mayer accordingly. 

We will appreciate being fully advised of the progress of 
these negotiations. 


December 19, 1944 
9 p.ra. 


- 888 - 


Distribution of true 
reading only by special 
arrangement. (SECRET W) 

Secretary of State 

8390, December 28, 6 p.m. 


Department* s 4273, December 19 WRB* s 328 and Legation* s 8118, 
December 13. 

I have discussed exhaustively with Saly Mayer and Joseph 
Schwartz present status of negotiations ae reported in our 8118, 
in light of your reply, 4273. We reached conclusions that it is 
indispensable to satisfactory continuation of negotiations that 
the twenty million Swiss francs be transferred to us as soon as 
possible so that he may have something tangible to talk with. 

Schwartz informs me that this sum will be forthcoming in the 
United States of America from Jewish sources if its remittance is 
approved by the competent authorities. 

The twenty million should naturally be sent on condition that 
thev can only be spent under proper control by the ICRC for mainten¬ 
ance relief and emigration of Jews in German hands. 

His proposal was made to Germans purely in principle, details 
as to source of relief goods, their quantity and shipping rhythm 
mechanism of ICRC control and similar questions being purposely 
left in abeyance so that their later elaboration might constitute 
a time-gaining device. 

Schwartz is of opinion that there should be no rush about 
spending this money once here; and so much the better if supplies 
are difficult to find. On other hand if proposal is accepted by 
Germans and does reach point where supplies must be shipped twenty 
million francs worth of appropriate relief goods can certainly not 
(repeat not) be found in Switzerland. Such essential items as fats, 
clothing and shoes are well nigh unpurchasable here in necessary 
quantities. On a showdown supplies would therefore have to come 
from overseas. 

It has been SM*s main object to bring these negotiations 
around to an acceptable basis which could be freely submitted to 
our Government, our Allies and to neutral Governments such as 
Switzerland and Sweden and even be of a nature to list support and 
aid of all. I,therefore, recommend that basic proposal be discussed 




Dated December 28, 
Rec'd 6:24 p.m. 


with our principal Allies and their agreement in principle ob- 
tained if possible* 

If SM can be provided with the twenty million this will per¬ 
mit them to ask Crell or even Becher to come to Switzerland once 
more for further discussion and avoid breaking off negotiations by 
default. It will then become apparent whether Germans are willing 
to accept SM* 0 new proposal in principle. 

In light of past few months experience of these frequent con¬ 
versations with these I distinctly feel they are worthwhile con¬ 
tinuing as something further may come of them. The recent delivery 
to Switzerlaid of Hungarian group from Bergenbelsenrein forces this 

Kindly inform me soon as possible whether the twenty million 
can be transferred. 


- 890 - 


Distribution of true January 6, 1945 

reading only by special 5 p.m. 

arrangement* (SECRET W) 





Reference your No* 8390 of December 28, 1944* 

This Government is authorizing the remittance of a special 
fund of twenty million Swiss francs by the American Jewish Joint 
Distribution Committee to Saly Mayer upon condition that no (re¬ 
peat no) part of the fund may be expended or committed for expen¬ 
diture without the express prior approval of this Government. 

The War Refugee Board is relying on you to take such steps as are 
necessary to see that this condition is carried out and you should 
report by cable the steps taken* Presumably, none of these funds 
could in any event be paid out without prior approval of our prin¬ 
cipal allies. The transfer has been approved solely in order that 
Saly Mayer may have something tangible with which to hold open the 
negotiations and for the gaining of more precious time. 

The British and Russian Governments are being advised that the 
above-mentioned transfer of twenty million Swiss francs has been 
authorized under the condition specified. 

Please keep Department and Board advised of any significant 


- 391 - 



FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: American Legation, Bern 

DATED: November 28, 1944 

NUMBER: 4014 




We are advised that Sternbuch is of the view that thousands of 
Jews in enemy-occupied countries can be saved if large sums of 
money are made available* The Vaad Hahatzala has asked that a 
message be sent to Sternbuch indicating that they agree to send all 
funds necessary* Please discuss his plans with Sternbuch at once 
and send us your views* 




- 892 - 




Distribution of trus 
reading only by special 


Dated December 9, 1944 
Rec f d 10:15 a.m. 

arrangement (SECRET W) 

Secretary of State, 


8045, December 9, 10 a.m. 


I have discussed this matter (first referred to in last para¬ 
graph Legation's 6951, October 20) with Sternbuch. (Department's 
4014, November 28; WRB's 298). It revolves around a trip which a 
certain former Swiss Federal Councillor, Musy took to Berlin during 
November on behalf of Mrs. Sternbuch in an attempt to locate and 
liberate some 200 Jews previously deported from Vittel, a great 
many of whom were relatives of the Sternbuch family. In spite of 
having been in personal touch with Himmler (so Sternbuch informed 
me). Musy was unsuccessful in his efforts to locate these people 
who are reputed to be in Ausschwits. On his return Musy intimated 
to the Sternbuche that if a fund of from ten to twenty million Swiss 
francs were placed at his disposal he would be able to "arrange” 
(inference being by buying them out) the exit from Germany of a 
considerable number of Jews. In view of Musy'a extremely question¬ 
able reputation here in Switzerland (he is generally spoken of as 
the potential Swiss Quisling) and the vagueness and unreliability 
of this whole "scheme" I cannot recommend that it be supported by 
the Board. 


- >93 - 




FROM: American Legation, Bern 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: February 17, 1945 (Received February IS) 

NUMBER: 1069 



The following message from McClelland for WRB and the Department 
is transmitted. 

Reference is made to message of February 8 from the Legation, 
Number 881, and to Departments message of February 14, Number 703 - 
WRB'a 403. 

On the 16th of February 1 was told by Stembuch (S) that he had 
boon successful in securing a paper credit of 5,000,000 Swiss francs 
issued in his name by a reputable concern in Zurich, the fides 
Treuhand-Vereinigung. With the help of an international real estate 
manipulator, a certain Michel Olian, who is on our Proclaimed List 
and who is doing this in the hope of being removed from that List, 
it is certain, the foregoing was made possible. He had managed to 
secure 2,000,000 and Olian had guaranteed the missing three million 
francs, S stated. 

Explanation was made by S that Musy appeared to be satisfied 
with this paper proof that he (S) was holding the 5,000,000 necessary, 
and Musy did not insist that this money be deposited in his name, 
at least for the moment. I am unable to recommend that I, as a 
member of the staff of the Legation, go on a joint account with 
Musy which would become known to Swiss authorities without doubt, in 
view of the highly unsavory and suspicious nature of Musy's own 
doubtful reputation and his negotiations with the Nazis. A joint 
account between Sternbuch and me might be an alternative plan. 

Should our Treasury issue a license allowing Vaad Hahatzala to remit 
to Switzerland $937,000, in view of the fact that 20,000,000 francs 
are already being held by Saly Mayer and me to back up negotiations 
of this type, I anticipate a considerable amount of difficulty from 
Swiss authorities in obtaining conversion of this amount of money 
into Swiss francs. Sternbuch would prefer to die in his tracks 
rather than ask Mayer for funds, on the other hand. 

It is certain that any discussion with the Swiss with regard 
to conversion of the $937,000 for Sternbuch would react unfavorably 
on the entire rescue plan and would make it necessary to disclose 
the fact that hard cash is being demanded by Musy for actions which 
have been publicized widely in Switzerland during the past week as 
being humanitarian. 

- 894 - 

However, Musy, who was to have returned on the 16th of February 
to Germany to pursue negotiations with a view to releasing additional 
convoys, at the last minute refused to go for the reason that Berlin 
(with which he was in telephone communication, he claims) reported 
that in the United States of America there had not been any favorable 
comment in the press regarding the praiseworthy human!tarianism of 
Nazis having released these Jews — in fact no discernable press 
reaction at all. Sternbuch was reproached by Musy to the effect 
that the Ge <rerament of the United States manifestly did not care 
whether Hlmler released the Jews or did not release them. Ac¬ 
cordingly, Musy insists that before he will go back, convincing 
evidence must be received by him to show in Berlin that the press of 
the United States is commenting favorably along the lines that the 
Nazis, arj evidence of their change of heart, having at last seen the 
error of their ways, have now not only stopped the extermination of 
Jews, but are releasing them. However, Musy is not insistent that 
his role in this be mentioned personally. 

Being afraid that the future success of the entire rescue 
program may be endangered by no press comment in the United States, 
Sternbuch and his colleagues are very much upset. 

The above anxiety of Berlin for a favorable press reinforces my 
view that there is a great deal more behind this whole matter than 
release of Jews, and is highly suspicious. 


- 895 - 



BG January 25, 1945 

Distribution or true Midnight 

reading only oy special 
arrangement. (SECRET w) 




The rollonlng ror Huaale and McClelland from Department and War 
Refugee Board is WRB 381. 

Information has reacned us recently that Sternbuch has developed 
a plan ror the release of 300,000 Jews from Germany and German- 
occupied territory in return for payments totalling $5,000,000. The 
Jews are to oe released at the rate or 15,000 a month and payments 
are to be made at the rate of $250,000 a month. It is further 
reported that sum or $k:50,000 remitted from the United States by 
Vaad Hahatsala is now on deposit in a Swiss bank in the name or 
Stembuch and is to be used for payment for the first shipment oi 
15,000 Jews expected shortly in Switzerland. 

For your information, nens reports from Bern similar to the 
above reports on the Stembuch plan and as yet unpublished ha»e 
been presented to us for confirmation. 

Please advise Department and Board of any information you have 
or can obtain on the foregoing. 



- 396 - 





TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: January 28, 1945 

NUMBER: 605 


See Department’s 424, January 25, WRB’s 381 and Legation’s 
8045, December 9 

From McClelland for WRB 

For the purpose of clarifying what I deem a grave and dangerous 
incorrectness of data reported to the Board concerning Sternbuch's 
(S) plan, the subject as S recently reported to me is as given in 
the following paragraphs: 

At the instigation of S Musy (M) approximately January 10 
undertook a second journey to Germany in behalf of rescuing surviving 
Jews who were in the possession of the Nazis* I am advised by S 
that a personnel invitation from Himmler (H) extended in writing by 
German Legation at Bern which S claims to have seen was in the 
possession of M* January 17 on M'S temporary return to Switzerland 
to report to S he (M) claimed that on the evening of January 15 in 
the neighborhood of Western Front he had dinner with H in company 
with several high SS generals, including Schellenberg. M had 
secured blanket permission from H as a preliminary concession for 
the release to Switzerland of all Vittel de ortees "whose location 
could be ascertained." Stated as proof of this that two of Mr* 
Sternbuch's kins people who were located would be delivered at the 
latest to Switzerland by January 23 which has not occurred as yet. 

M strongly maintains, according to S, that he, M, will by 
political arguments along the line that release of Jews so near the 
end of the war will be in the interest of Germany and may secure 
more favorable treatment for the country from the Allies, persuade 
Germans to release Jews still surviving. The reputation of M is 
that of being a Naziphile on anti-Communist grounds and interested 
in obtaining compromise peace for Germany before it is too late and 
the Bolsheviks overrun the country. The rehabilitation of his 
personal political reputation in Switzerland is also of interest to 
M. I am repeatedly assured that M is not interested in offering 
Nazis money or in getting it for himself. However, S made the 
admission that he advanced M 50,000 Swiss francs for travel expenses 
which included purchase of automobile in Germany apparently. 

From reliable source I understand that on his first journey M 
collected 10,000 francs from Mr. Matossian because he was successful 
in freeing Matossian's grandson from a German concentration camp 

- 897 - 

and bringing him back in October to Switzerland. Matossian was 
informed this ten thousand was also for the purchase of an automobile. 

S replied when I Informed him this appeared somewhat excessive 
that It was M's intention to pay him oack whatever amount was not 
spent for the expenses of his journey. 

I know nothing of the whole payment and delivery scheme which 
your 424 reported and denial that any such financial arrangement had 
been arranged was vigorously made oy S. It is ny inclination to 
believe of certain newspapermen in Bern the information which the 
Board received. It is my opinion that since S knows perfectly well 
that such a straight, large scale ransom scheme would oe entirely 
unacceptable, he would not dare to Decome Involved in any such 
financial scheme. 

There is enthusiasm and skepticism on the part of S— enthusiasm 
because he believes that for the first time direct, personal contact 
has been established with Himmler concerning the question of the Jews, 
and skepticism In MS efficacy which he will believe only when 
arrival of trains in Switzerland actually begin. 

On the twenty-first of January ostensibly for additional 
negotiation with Himmler, M returned to Germany. 

My personal judgment is still reserved in regard to the entire 


- 898 - 




FROM: American Legation, Bern 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: February 8, 1945 

NUMBER: 881 



The following message is from McClelland for WRB. 

Reference Department's 385# January 23; WRB's 377; Department's 
circular cable June 14# 19445 Department's 1168# April 6, 1944 and 
Legation's 605# January 28, 1945. 

Legation's 605 previously reported the entire matter of the 
Musy negotations which have come into considerably sharper focus 
since the third of February when Sternbuch told me that Musy had 
come back on the first of February from Germany and had reported 
that his endeavors to induce Himmler to release Jews had been suc¬ 
cessful and that# on or around February 8, a first convoy of some 
1200 individuals would arrive at the Swiss frontier. On February 6 
this convoy was to depart from the Dresden area. When Sternbuch 
requested that I bring up the question of Swiss permission for their 
entrance into Switserland, I did this personally with the Chief of 
Federal Police# Dr. Rothmund, on the third of February, reaffirming 
the interest of our Government in such rescue work and recommending 
that the Swiss make preliminary preparations for the reception and 
housing of this group if it should actually reach the Swiss border. 
The Police Chief stated he would take the necessary measures and 
brought up the problem of whether our Government's assurances con¬ 
cerning the evacuation from Swiss territory of Jewish refugees from 
Hungary to Allied regions would hold good for a group from Germany 
such as this. To this I replied that while I had no specific in¬ 
structions to this effect, I thought our Government would extend its 
guarantees to include such groups from Germany. (See assurances 
given in Department's circular June 14# 1944# and reported on basis 
of President's statement of Biarch 24# 1944 in Department's 1168# 
April 6, 1944) • Since Musy himself later stated to me that this 
was to be the first of a series of like convoys, this is a particu¬ 
larly important point on which I should welcome the Board's advice 
as soon as possible. If the military situation in Germany permits, 
others would follow at intervals of approximately a week. 

In later talks with the Federal Police of February 7, this 
question of evacuation by us was raised again. 

I talked at length with Musy, Sternbuch and Bott on the 6th of 
February, and they informed me as follows: 

- 899 - 

Himmler been induced by Musy to release all Jews as yet 
surviving in German controlled regions, particularly those not 
suited for labor, within practical limits. SS General Schellenberg, 
who is one of the top SS triumvirate immediately under Himmler, 
strongly seconded Musy, according to the latter. Musy describes 
Schellenberg as a really good man and as his own particular friend. 
With regard to Himmler, he was very much more interested in the 
entire proposal this time then on Musy’s previous trip in November 
1944 (*; coming, if this rescue action was to be initiated by first 
convoy of 1200. 

In addition, Musy stated that Himmler and the SS in general 
were prepared to drop all endeavors to obtain compensation in goods 
in return for Jews released as they now realized the impracticability 
of this. 

A token compensation payment of five million Swiss francs which 
was to be deposited to an account in llusy’s name with a Swiss bank, 
after delivery of first convoy, was the only string attached. The 
only bank which Musy declared would be acceptable to him was the 
Swiss National Bank. He also assured me that this money would stay 
in Switzerland and he intimated that in all probability the Nazis 
would release it to the ICRC as an additional gentlemanly "gesture 11 
some time in the future. The five million is expected to be supplied 
by Sternbuch. 

I did not press Musy for an explanation of the purpose behind 
this token deposit at the request of Sternbuch, since he was eager 
not to make an issue of the money question at this critical point 
because he feared that Musy might be insulted and thus the successful 
outcome of the entire affair would be endangered. 

In private, Sternbuch admitted to me that he was not clear as 
to the reason for this deposit. Although there are a number of 
possible explanations, none of them is satisfactory and it is most 
unclear to me. Musy’s accepting money for himself, above and beyond 
rather stiff travel expenses, is not in harmony with his evident 
intention of playing the role of an heroic rescuer and thus rehabili¬ 
tating himself in Switzerland in a political way. 

My advice to Sternbuch was to endeavor to stall as tactfully as 
he could on this money issue until we at least found out whether the 
first convoy reached the Swiss frontier. 

Information that a convoy of 1200 individuals was at Konstanz 
was given the Federal Police by the German Legation at Bern on 
February 6, at 6 p.m. They arrived February 7, about noon, in 
Switzerland. This convoy Is made up of 1210 individuals, including 
soma 58 children tinder twelve, but it is composed mostly of adults 
about equally divided between men and woman. 

- 900 - 

At present this convoy is in St. Gall under Swiss Army control 
and seems to be in fairly satisfactory physical condition in contrast 
to exchanges from Bergen-Belsen, according to preliminary reports. 

It is stated in an unconfirmed report that they come from 
Theresienstadt and as the convoy was to leave from Dresden which is 
only a short distance from Theresienstadt, this is geographically 
possible. As yet there are no exact details available regarding 
composition of the group with respect to nationality, documentation 

With regard to the broader phase of Musy's negotiations with SS, 
and in particular Musy*s reference to having received support from 
Schellenberg throughout, I believe it of interest to advise the Board 
that the Chief of the Swiss Army Intelligence, Masson, informed me 
on February 6, quite independently of Musy, that Schellenberg had 
recently indicated to Masson through an intermediary that he, 
Schellenberg, was interested in doing somsthing regarding release of 
Jewish refugees. 

Sternbuch and I cannot get away from the impression that Musy's 
negotiations with Himmler have not been confined to the Jewish 
problem which after all cannot be of major importance to Himmler, in 
view of Germany*s present military situation. It is possible that 
the release cf the Jews may be the forerunner of proposals of much 
greater importance to the Germans. 

You will find it interesting to note that Musy also has been in 
touch with the French Embassy in Bern and in addition to effecting 
the release of the Jewish group of 1210, has also effected the release 
of some 540 French men and women, presumably political prisoners. 

On the night of February 7 this French group arrived at the Swiss 
boxtler and they will be rerouted through to France by the Swiss. 

Musy was also successful in liberating a group of nine Swiss 
nationals, which the Germans imprisoned on espionage charges, from 
German prisons. For over a year the Swiss Government has been 
attempting in vain to secure release through conventional diplomatic 
channels of these people. Of this group, four have arrived in 
Switzerland up to now. 

Of course. Embassy will keep you posted with respect to any 
additional interesting developments in this entire Musy question, 
and in the meantime, would be grateful for your advice concerning 
evacuation of this convoy of 1210 individuals, and later groups 
which may arrive, to Allied territory. 

As yet Embassy has heard nothing from SHAEF in Paris relating 
to evacuation of 1672 Hungarian Jews. 



- 901 - 





Washington 25, D. C. 


February 28, 1945. 

Dear Sirs: 

Tour application for a Trsasury Department license permitting 
you to remit #937,000 to Isaac Sternbuch, St. Gallen, Switzerland, 
in connection with the Busy negotiations for the release of Jews 
from enemy territory was considered at a meeting of the members of 
the War Refugee Board held today. 

The Board disapproved the issuance of a license permitting such 
remittance to Isaac Sternbuch. However, the Board did approve the 
issuance by the Treasury Department of a license permitting you to 
remit this sum to a Joint account in a Swiss bank in the names of 
Isaac Sternbuch and Roswell McClelland, Special Representative of 
the War Refugee Board, provided that the license clearly stated 
that no part of this sum could be expended or committed for expendi¬ 
ture except as authorized by specific action of the War Refugee 

It was the further unanimous decision of the Board that under 
no circumstances could this money be used for the payment of ransom. 
However, it is the understanding of the Board that legitimate 
expenses may be involved in the release of detainees from enemy 
territory and the Board is prepared to consider requests for its 
approval of any such payments upon presentation of full details 
concerning the purposes for which such expenditures are to be made. 

Very truly youre. 

(Signed) William O'Dwyer 
William O'Dwyer 
Executive Director 

Vaad Hahatzala Emergency Committee 
of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis, 
132 Nassau Street, 

New York 7, N. Y. 

- 902 - 


EBJ March 2, 1945 

Distribution of true Noon 

reading only by special 
arrangement. (SECRET W) 




The following for Harrison and McClelland from Department and 
War Refugee Board is WRB 426. 

Reference your nos. 881 of February 8, 1069 of February 17, and 
1175 of February 22, 1945, and Department's no. 703 of February 14, 

The members of the War Refugee Board met on February 28th to 
consider the application of the Vaad Hahatzala Emergency Committee 
for a license to remit the Swiss franc equivalent of $937,000 to 
Isaac Sternbuch. The Board disapproved the issuance of a license 
permitting such remittance to Sternbuch. However, after careful 
consideration, the Board unanimously approved the issuance by the 
Treasury of a license permitting the Vaad Hahatzala to make the 
desired remittance to a joint account in a Swiss bank in the names 
of Isaac Sternbuch, representative in Switzerland of the Vaad 
Hahatzala Emergency Committee of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the 
United States and Canada, and Roswell D. McClelland, representative 
of the War Refugee Board, provided that the license clearly stated 
that no part of the sum could be expended or committed for expendi¬ 
ture except as authorized by specific action of the War Refugee 

It was the further unanimous decision of the Board that under 
no (repeat no) circumstances could any part of this money be used 
for the payment of ransom. 

However, it is the understanding of the Board that legitimate 
expenses may be involved in the release of detainees from enemy 
territory and the Board is prepared to consider requests for its 
approval of any such payments in the present case upon presentation 
to the Board of full details concerning the purposes for which such 
expenditures are to be made. 

Please advise Sternbuch of the foregoing. Text of Treasury 
license being issued to Vaad Hahatsala will be sent to you in 
separate cable. 




- 903 - 


Distribution of true March 21, 1945 

reading only by special S p.n. 

arrangement. (SECRET W) 




The following for McClelland is WRB 467. 

At the request of the Vaad Hahatsala the War Refugee Board has 
approved an amendment of Treasury license No. W^-2426, text of which 
was cabled to you on March 6, 1945 (Department’s no. 95S). The 
amendment provides that, solely with respect to the 1,000,000 Swiss 
francs remitted by Vaad Hahatsala on March 10 to the joint account 
of Isaac Sternbuch and Roswell McClelland, expenditures may be 
authorised by you as representative of the Board, without prior 
reference to the Board in Washington, for such legitimate expenses 
as transportation, documentary fees, food and other supplies and 
services • 

In approving this amendment, the Board holds you responsible to 
see to it that no (repeat no) part of the 1,000,000 Swiss francs is 
used for ransom. As you were advised on March 2, the members of the 
Board unanimously decided that no payments for ransom will be 

Please keep Board fully informed of any payments which are 
authorised by you under this amendment. The text of the amendment 
will be sent in separate cable. 


- 904 - 


Distribution of true 
reading only by special 
arrangement* (SECRET W) 

Secretary of State, 


1905, Iferch 31, 1 p.m. 


Departments 1149, WRB»S 467, March 21 and 1204, WRB’S 477, 

March 24. 

Stembuch has been informed of this amendment to Vaad Hah&tsala *s 
license W-2426 governing only one million francs. 

Pursuant to this amendment and after thorough examination of 
purpose, I have authorised Stembuch to remit 500,000 Swiss francs 
to ICRC to cover eventual food purchases and transportation charges* 
ICDC has agreed to furnish me with detailed information concerning 
all such purchases or charges* 




Dated Ifaroh 31, 
Rac'd 6:08 p.m* 



- 905 - 


BBP July 27, 1945 

Distribution of true 6 p.m. 

reading only by special 
arrangement. (SECRET V) 

War Refugee Board 




The following fear McClelland Is WEB 541. 

Reference your Bo. 3591, July 17. 

Board has been advised that pursuant to agreeaent between JDC 
and Vaad Hahatsala, Sternbuch Is to receive 100,000 Swiss francs of 
the approximately 3,500,000 Swiss francs still In special Joint 
account In Sternbuch's and your names. JDC authorises you with 
Board's approval to receive the aforementioned balance less 100,000 
Swiss franos to be transferred to Sternbuch, and to transfer this 
amount to account of Saly Bayer. 



- 906 - 








American Legation, Stockholm 
Secretary of State, Washington 
June 28, 1944 


Information has reached Olsen that several approaches have 
"been made locally by certain influential German officials connected 
with Baltic affairs on the general proposition of freeing Jews in 
Latvia against a cash consideration. We allowed the situation to 
develop and it resulted in the following concrete proposal. 

All Jews in Latvia (a guaranteed minimum of 2,000) would be 
free from ghettos and allowed to come to Sweden against a cash 
payment of 2 million dollars (revised later to 2 million Swedish 
kronor). This amount was to be deposited in Riksbank subject to 
the conditions as follows. 

A. Guaranteed release of these funds when and if refugees 
arrived safely in Sweden. 

B. Funds could be used without restriction for purchase of 
certain supplies other than war materials, such as medicines. Red 
Cross supplies, et cetera. 

C. Balance of funds available for transfer to German clearing. 
The group would require assurances from Sweden, in turn, that these 
refugees would not be allowed to spread anti-Hazi propaganda. 

These discussions were communicated to the Swedish Foreign 
Office and it had advanced the following information regarding the 
three individuals involved. The most important individual is 
ELeist, said to be Himmler^ man in the Baltic and reputedly one 
of the cleverest intelligence operators in Germany. He is also 
connected with the German Red Cross. The Foreign Office has had 
some experience with him in that, contrary to strict orders from 
Ribbentrop, Kleist facilitated escape to Sweden of certain Swedes 
in the Baltic. The name of the second individual is Boening, and 
he is considered somewhat of a mystery to the Foreign Office, 
although he is known to represent Kleist in Sweden on various 
matters. The third and last individual is named Klause. He is 
stated to have been a former member of the German Military 
Intelligence but recently he asked the Swedish Foreign Office to 
consider him a political refugee, based on the fact he is considered 
a Jew by the Germans. From other sources we are informed that at 
least on previous occasion Klause obtained funds from individuals 
in Sweden on the promise of rescuing certain Jews in Europe; he 
never fulfilled the promise. 

- 907 - 

On subsequent approach, it was intimated by this group that 
very little, if any, of the 2 million Kronor wouldl go into the 
German clearing, or even to buy Swedish goods for Germany, Instead, 
they would use some of the funds to bribe certain minor German 
officials in the Baltic, and the three would pocket the balance. 

It was suggested by Olsen, simply to explore the mysterious 
background of these negotiators, that the German group be informed 
that it was impossible to raise the money in Sweden and then to 
ask whether thBre was any objection to exploring the possibilities 
of securing American funds* This could be done only by raising the 
problem with Olsen at the American Legation who probably would 
want to get all the details directly. It was then stated by the 
group to this proposal, that money was not necessarily a consider¬ 
ation, that perhaps no money at all would be needed. The important 
consideration was stated to be that the Swedish Foreign Office must 
express a strongly sympathetic attitude towards this rescue 
operation, a willingness to receive these refugees gladly, and to 
promise that the refugees would not agitate against the German 
authorities. While baffling and $ot a little fantastic in scope, 
the foregoing situation presents the following interesting intelli¬ 
gence aspects. If the government of Germany is behind these 
feelers, it becomes a simple ransom proposition from which they 
would hope to trap us into a series of other extortions on-a much 
larger scale. We know that the Germans are extremely pressed for 
foreign exchange and are experimenting with all possible devices 
to ease the situation. Too, if German authorities are behind these 
negotiations, they may be setting a trap for anti-Jewish propaganda 
in the United States - playing these refugees against prisoners of 
war, et cetera. On the other han<J, the individuals involved may 
simply be making a last minute effort to purchase good will in the 
United States and Sweden, (The Swedish Foreign Office believes 
this latter to be the true basis of the feelers made locally,) 

At least Kleist is a marked man and the situation in the Baltic 
may have prompted him to look towards the immediate future. 

Treasury should be informed and also War Refugee Board as our 

Ho. 41. 


- 908 - 







July 3, 1944 

AMLEGATION, Stockholm 
Secretary of State, Washington 


Repeat to WRB as our 43, 

This message is a supplement to Legation's 2362, June 28, 10 
p,m, (WEB No, 41), Through intermediaries Olsen and Boening had a 
consultation, Olsen asked first as to what was Boening 1 s capacity 
in Sweden and Boening answered that approximately three years ago, 
as special trade negotiator, he came here to the German Legation, 

His explanation was that it was much like the recent Griffis 
mission. He added that for the last two years he has not teen 
officially connected with the Government of Germany and has 
Business interests of a private personal nature, in connection with 
which he also represents certain Kleist interests. The Question 
was asked By Olsen as to what was the status of Kleist and Boening 
answered that up to less than a year ago Kleist had Been. RiBBentrop 1 s 
special representative in connection with the civilian administration 
of Poland and the Baltic countries. But that with von RiBBentrop he 
had had severe disputes as to policy and had handed in his resig¬ 
nation. It was added that since then Kleist had not Been officially 
connected with the Government of Germany although it was explained 
that it was quite plain that he had close personal connection with 
important authorities of the Government of Germany. 

Reference was then made By Olsen to the discussions which 
Boening had Been having with certain Swedes regarding the possi¬ 
bility of evacuating all the Jews who are now in the Baltic countries 
to Sweden and that, as a War Refugee Board representative, it 
would Be aBsurd for him to disclaim his grave concern with the 
safety of these individuals. However, in light of the fact that 
such an operation most certainly would require the authoritative 
sanction of the Government of Germany, and in view of the well- 
known policy of Germany towards Jews and the severity with which 
this policy is Being executed By the German Government, Boening 
was asked how he or Kleist were optimistic that an arrangement 
involving an exchange of humanitarian acts would Be accepted. 

Inouiry was made By Olsen as to what kind of an exchange he had in 
view and as a possibility the following idea was advanced By Boening. 
-eagerness would oe expressed By the Swedish Red Cross to evacuate 
the tews from the Baltic countries and regarding this matter would 
make the correct -approaches. To the Germans the Swedish Red Cross, 
as a counterbalancing act of humanity, would offer certain relief 
operations such as non-strategic medical supplies, Beds, chairs 
etc. for its Bombed-out civilians. It was stated By Boening that 
the whole matter could Be so controlled that no military consider¬ 
ations of any kind would Be involved. It was also stated By 

Boening that both KLeist and he were of the opinion that this 
would he of Interest to the Germans# The Impression received by 
Olsen was that with at least certain of the German officials the 
propositions may have in fact been cleared in principle. There 
could he developed nothing more as to what may he behind the 
discussions so far as concerns the Germans or as to the motives of 
these persons in submitting the proposal. 


- 910 - 



Distribution of true 
reading only by special 
arrangement* (SECRET-W) 


July 10, 1944 
9 p.m. 





The following WEB cable 45 is for Olsen* 

The substance of your 2362 of June 28 is being communicated to 
the British and the Russians in accord with policy to do so with 
all such proposals no matter how dubious their nature or origin* 

The following points are not clear and would appreciate any 
information you may be able to supply! (a) whether financial 
consideration is still deemed essential, and if so, whether the 
same would be for the benefit of individuals or Germany; (b) why 
the offer deals only with approximately 2000 Jews when available 
statistics indicate that over 93,000 resided in Latvia prior to 
the war (this might elicit some information as to the fate of 
the others; it might also tend to emphasize the enormity of the 
crimes involved, and thus perhaps to increase the group*s desire 
to be helpful); (c) the manner in which and the persons by whom 
the evacuees would be selected; (d) the means by which the evacuees 
would be transported to Sweden; and (e) what guarantees or evidence 
of good faith and effectiveness are available. Would also appreciate 
any further information you may have as to identity of three 
individuals named* Is there any possibility *hat Klause is Krause 
of Anderson reportt 

Your 2362 Is subject to construction that all that may be 
required for release of 2000 is the expression by the Swedish 
Foreign Office of a strongly sympathetic attitude towards this 
rescue operation, a willingness to receive these refugees gladly 
and to promise that the refugees would not agitate against the 
German authorities. If this interpretation is correct, you should 
urge the Swedish Foreign Office to take the required steps without 
any reference to this Government or its interest in the operation. 

Any refugees of the kind described arriving in Sweden as a result 
of this operation would come within the guarantees and assurances 
made in Department* s 749 of April 25, WEB*s 4. 

With reference to form proposal takes in your 2419 of July 3, 
your 43 to WEB, Swedish Red Cross should be fully informed and 
requested to endeavor to secure definitive terms and conditions 
from Boening and other interested parties. In so doing the Red 
Cross should make no (repeat no) reference to this Government or 
its interest in any discussions, negotiations or agreement that 
might ensue. 

- 911 - 

Please keep the Department and Board fully advised of de¬ 
velopments* Please eroress to Boheman the sincere appreciation of 
the Department and the Board for the information contained in your 
2412 of July 1. 



- 912 - 




Distribution of true 
reading only by special 


Dated July 15, 1944 
Rec'd. lit30 a.m. 

arrangement. (SECRET W) 

Secretary of State 

2621, July 15, 10 a.m. (SECTION ONE) 

Following supplements Legation's 2419 of July 3, noon and 
Legation's 2362 of June 28, 10 p.m. and is our no. 52 for War 
Refugee Board in response to inquiries raised in WRB 45 
(Department's 1365 of July 11, 8 p.m.) 

a. Olsen's discussion with Boening developed no question of 
financial consideration, simply humanitarian exchange such as 
certain relief supplies to Germany's bombed-out civilians. It may 
be that eventually the question will be raised of remuneration to 
Boening, ELeist and ELause for arranging the matter but even that 
is disclaimed by them at this stage since they are playing heavily 
their humanitarian sympathies. 

b. Our best information obtained from Latvian refugees is 
that there are only 3200 Jews in Latlrian concentration camps at 
the present time. Most of these are stated to be Latvians although 
there are a few German and Central European Jews. 


- 913 - 


Distribution of true 
reading only by special 


Dated July 15, 1944 
Hec*d 11:57 a.m. 

arrangement. (SECRET W) 

Secretary of State, 


2621, July 15, 10 a.m. (SECTION TWO) 

and according to reports by Andersen, approximately 50 American 
and British Jews. 

(0) The question of selecting evacuees disappeared in the 
last discussion since basis of discussion was evacuation of all 
Jews in Latvian concentration camps. 

(D) It was understood that evacuation could probably be 
carried-out by Swedish Red Cross in Swedish vessels. 

(E) Throughout the various discussions during which the Ger¬ 
mans shifted from one consideration to another, it was constantly 
emphasized by'Boening that no delivery of the considerations agreed 
upon would be necessary until the Jews had arrived in Sweden. 

The guarantees of the Swedish Foreign Office, mentioned in 
Legation 1 s No. 2362 were not mentioned in final discussion and 
presumably were abandoned in favor of proposals with respect to 
Swedish Red Cross mentioned in Legation 1 s 2419. It is repeated 
that the basis of these discussions has shifted from one considera¬ 
tion to another. 



- 914 - 


Distribution of true 
reading only by sr>ecial 


Dated July 15 t 1944 
Rec*d. 2:30 p.m. 

arrangement. (SECRET W) 

Secretary of State 

2621, July 15, 10 a.m. (SECTION THESE) 

and probably will be subject to other revisions if further dis¬ 
cussions are held. At present time, however, consideration ad¬ 
vanced for release of Latvian Jews is that involving Swedish Red 
Cross. Will raise the matter with Swedish Red Cross along lines 
suggested in WKB 45 but believe that it is the type of proposal 
that can be discussed only with Count Folke Bem&dotte, chairman, 
who is temporarily away on vacation. No time will be lost by de¬ 
ferring discussions until his return since both Kleist and Boen- 
ing are in Berlin and won f t be back for a week. 

Will endeavor to obtain additional details regarding Kleist, 
Boening and Klausc. The first two are said to be well known to 
Count Bemadotte because of Red Cross activities. Klause should 
not be confused with Krause who is prominently identified with 
murder of Latvian Jews. Klause has resided in Sweden more or less 
permanently for past two or three years. 



- 915 - 


m-116 Stockholm 

Distribution of true Dated September 11, 1944 

reading only by special Rec'd 3110 a,m., 12th 

arrangement (SECRET W) 

Secretary of State, 


3565, September 11, 10 p,m, 

German group mentioned in our number 41, 43 and 52 for WRB 
(Legation's 2362 of June 28, 10 p,m,; 2419 July 3, noon and 2621 of 
July 15, 10 a,m*) have recently renewed their approaches with respect 
to freeing Baltic Jews against 2,000,000 Swedidh kronor of civilian 
relief supplies for German bombed-out population and a concrete 
proposal allegedly will be advanced this week with Berlin approval. 

In the meantime it is stated the German authorities have issued 
strict orders to stop further Jewish persecutions in the Baltic 

We are also advised that Boening returned to Germany for 
military service but was immediately released and sent to Bern, It 
is possible that he is involved in some of the German negotiations 
in Switzerland with respect to Jews, particularly Hungarian, 

Believe it highly desirable that there be a close interchange of 
information as to any such negotiations. This is our number 80 for 


- 916 - 



HM-485 Stockholm 

Distribution of true Dated October 14, 1944 

reading only by special Rec'd. 9:36 p.m. 

arrangement. (SECRET W) 

Secretary of State 

4187, °ctober 14, 10 a.m. (SECTION ONE OF TWO) 

Storch has informed us that Kleist (see last paragraph our 85 
WKB) during his recent visit to Stockholm made the following 
statements: (l) It is impossible to buy release of Jews in Germany 

with money ( 2 ) His real mission here was to negotiate release of 
the 100,000 Estonians on 0 8 el and to arrange for their entry into 
Sweden. (3) He was to take up on his return to Berlin general 
subject of release of'Jews. He claims Swedes had put pressure on 
him to do something for the Jews and he expected to have some 
measure of success in Berlin as he wished to do the Swedes a favor. 

( 4 ) He claimed that in a recent Berlin meeting on the general 
subject of treatment of Jews following points were discussed: A. All 
Jews should be treated kindly now and endeavor made to prove to the 
world that they had never been abused, the idea being that surviving 
Jews who would be treated kindly would speak up for the Germans after 
the war. B. Remaining Jews should all be killed. This point was 
turned down. C. As the Germans cannot expect the Allies to treat 
them any better than they themselves have treated the Jews or the 
inhabitants of occupied countries the Germans must work out some 
plan other than A or B above, hence they are now considering the 
use of Jews as hostages. He claimed in this connection the Germans 
have not killed remaining Lithuanian Jews. 


- 917 - 

HK-469 Stockholm 

Distribution of true Dated October 14, 1944 

reading only by special Rec*d. 7:55 p.n. 

arrangement. (SECRET W) 

Secretary of State 

4187, October 14, 10 p.m. (SECTION TWO) 


as was once intended but have taken them to work on East Prussian 
fortifications and are reserving them for possible use as hos¬ 

Five. Eleist is expected back here any day and hopes to have 
concrete plans to present before a conference consisting of Count 
Bernardotte, Professor Ehren Preis, Storch and Austrian represen¬ 

Storch feels Kleist wants to convey impression at least he 
tried to do the Jews a favor so he nay gain favor in Allied eyes, 
Storch wishes Iver Olsen in London to get in touch with 4Ir. 
Easterner, or some other official of the World Jewish Congress 
there as he feels that organization is not clearly informed of 
the negotiations taking plaice here regarding the Jews. 



- 918 - 



NCP—968 Stockholm 

Distribution of true Dated March 7, 1945 

reading only by special Rec*d 2:22 p.m. 

arrangement, (SECRET W) 

Secretary of State, 



876, March 7, Noon (SECTION ONE OE TWO) 

On the basis of statements made by certain important Germans 
with whom Olsen has indirect contact, a real possibility appears to 
exist that within the next two weeks or so the Germans may make a 
fantastic offer with respect to Jews in German concentration camps. 
This offer is nothing less than the liberation of all such Jews 
except those engaged in vital war effort, Eron three separate 
German sources here Olsen has been informed that the Germans are 
laying groundwork to prove that the wholesale massacre of Jews had 
not been carried out by the Germans but by criminal elements in the 
occupied countries themselves. In order to emphasize this point 
it appears that according to statements made to Olsen, the German 
authorities are preparing to take the -oo sit ion that they are not 
interested in keeping the Jews in German concentration camps any 
longer, that in fact it has been a nuisance required for security- 
reasons, and that they are -prepared to release them and permit them 
to leave Germany if some neutral organization such as the Swedish 
Red Cross will provide the necessary transportation. The following 
are Olsen*s sources of information: 

One. Dr, Kerstner, German masseur living in Stockholm and 
^irst heard of when he joined Himmler during his stay in Helsinki. 
He has attended Himmler for se* nral # years and is not considered 
pro-Nazi in local circles. Kerstner states that ever since last 
October there has been considerable dispute within the German High 
Command as to the policy to be followed with respect to Jev/s. The 
severe attitude of.Genoral Daluge, Himmler*s right-hand man, seemed 
to prevail, but Kerstner states that Daluge has now become entirely 
incapacitated as a syphilitic and paralytic and has been Confined 
to a sanatorium. Before leaving for Berlin this week, he stated 
flatly that the Germans are now willing to r lease the Jews. He 
made reference to severe friction between Himmler and Ribbentrop, 
and Himmler*e efforts to remove the latter from all influential 
posts. He also reported great controversy between Hitler and 
Himmler but that the latter remains completely and devoutly sub¬ 
servient to Hitler, even though Hitler, according to Kerstner, is 
at present a serious mental case. 

Two. Fritz Hesse, said to "be on influential member of the 
German Foreign Office v/ho recently arrived here from Berlin and has 
permission to stay until Thursday. Shortly after his arrival he 
made connection with Olsen 1 s intermediary in previous discussions 
with the Germans on Jewish problems, and asked him to cone over 
and talk with him at the Grand Hotel. 


- 920 - 


Distribution of true 
reading only by special 


Dated March 7, 1945 
Rec*d 3:00 p.m. 

arrangenent . (S2CR2T W) 

Secretary of State 

376, March 7, noon. (S2CTI01! TWO) 


Hesse stated that his sincerity and reliability could be con¬ 
firmed by an internationally known Jew named Frederick Kuh, who, 
he said, was in London. He then made the categorical statement 
that the Oerman authorities are prepared to release the Jews pro¬ 
vided a basis can be found of working out all related problems. 

He evaded questions as to what the Germans would be likely to ask 
in return, but the definite inroression was gained that Hesse was 
also interested in exploring war politics, Hesse also inouired 
whether a meeting could be arranged with Olsen, but added that he 
would communicate further on that point later. 

Three. Dr. Klaus, Stockholm representative of Dr, Kleist, 
who has been contacted frequently in the past on these matters. 
Klaus states that Kleist, known to be an intimate of Himmlers 
will return to Stockholm from Berlin in a few days. He states 
that Kleist has completed his discussions with the German authori¬ 
ties and that the prospects e-re strong that the Germans will agree 
to the release of all (repeat all) Jews in German concentration 
camps. Klaus emphasizes that the basis of release will not be 
similar to that whereby certain Jews recently arrived in Switzer¬ 
land from Bergen Belsen, which Klaus describes as nothing more 
than a ransom proposition. Klaus states that Kleist*s negotiations 
with the German authorities have been exclusively on a humanitar¬ 
ian basis, but he is unable or unwilling to elaborate further. 

Olsen considers that there is a peculiar pattern of similar¬ 
ity in the foregoing discussions and that something rather sub¬ 
stantial may be brewing. He is exploring the situation carefully 
and would appreciate comments or suggestions from the War Refugee 

These discussions and the names of individuals involved have 
been brought to the attention of Engzell of the Swedish Foreign 
Office who is rather optimistic of the prospect of these negotia¬ 
tions resulting in at least a few thousand Jews being brought to 
safety in Sweden. 



- 921 - 



No paraphrase 




Dated March 28, 1945 
Hec*d 9:12 a.rt., 29th 

Secretary of State, 



1186, March 28, 8 p.m. 

As reported in our 876 of March 7, noon to Department (No. 129 
for War Refugee Board) Felix Kersten vent to Berlin in early March 
to render certain medical attention to Himmler. Prior to his 
departure certain individuals here provided him with the memorandum 
of questions to he raised concerning the status of Jews in Germany. 
These questions included the following points: 

(A) Assurances that food packages to Jews in German concentration 
camps were actually reaching destination; 

(B) Permission to have future distribution of food packages 
from Sweden to he supervised hy Swedish Red Cross; 

(C) Number of Jews recently in Germany, broken down by number 
and location of each camp and data as to the nationality of such 

(D) Question of eight various categories of Jews, such as 
those with South American passports (presently under negotiation by 
Swedish Government); 

(E) General question of freeing larger groups of Jews against 
appropriate guarantees of transportation and support. 

Kersten has now returned to Stockholm and has presented a 
rather incredible account of his discussions with Himmler which are 
presented below without comment. 

He stated that at present there are about 350,000 Jews in 
Germany. He added that 8,000 of them have Palestine visas and 
probably would be released if Swedish Government took appropriate 
steps in the matter. He states that Himmler ejqpressed a most 
sympathetic interest in Jewish problems, mentioning specifically the 

(A) Himmler was especially interested to know that the 2,700 
Jews arrived in Switzerland and whether this group had commented 
favorably upon the delivery of food packages; 

- 922 - 

(b) Himmler was receptive to the idea of placing Jews in 
specially arranged Red Cross camps with the administration com¬ 
pletely under the jurisdiction of the Red Cross; 

(C) Himmler called a meeting of all Jewish camp administrators 
for March 24 in order to give strict orders for the improved 
treatment of Je\/s hereafter. This will include the instruction that 
each camp leader hereafter will he held strictly accountable for the 
death of any Jew in his camp and will he required to file a full 
report of circumstances underlying any such death* Kersten added 
that, in his presence* Himmler dictated certain orders concerning 
the necessity of improved sanitary conditions in Jewish concentration 

(D) Himmler expressed a willingness to receive at once a 
pecial emissary from Sweden to discuss with him personally the 
^wish problem* This was advanced with particular reference to a 

ateless Jew of Latvian origin (Storch, local representative of 
rid Jewish Congress) who has been Legation 1 s intermediary in 
rveral contacts of similar nature; and 

(E) Emphasis was placed on the unfortunate results in case these 
iscus8ions were used by the Allies as propaganda to portray German 

teakness* It was added that because of the delicate nature of the 
discussions as well as rather well-known mixed feelings in Germany 
with respect to Jews, the entire matter most urgently must be handled 
with the greatest discretion* 

Kersten has made available two extraordinary documents* The 
first, on official SS stationery and purportedly signed by Himmler, 
reads as follows in translation: 

"Dear Mr* Kersten, First of all please accept with these lines 
my thanks for your visit* This time, as always, I have been glad 
when you came and with old friendship placed your great medical skill 
at my disposal* 

During the long years of our acquaintanceship we have indeed 
discussed many problems and your attitude was always that of the 
physician who, remote from all politics, desires the good of the 
individual h uman being and of humanity as a whole* 

Tou will be interested to know that during the course of the 
past three months I have brought about the realization of an idea 
which we once discussed* Roughly 2,700 Jewish men, women and children 
were taken to Switzerland in two trains* This is in effect the 
continuation of the policy which my collaborators and I have con¬ 
sistently pursued for many years until the war and the resulting 
folly in the world made it impossible to carry it out* Tou know, 
of course, that I in the years 1936, *37, *38, *39, and *40, in 
collaboration with Jewish American associations, created an 


- 923 - 

emigration organization which functioned very fruitfully. The two 
trains which traveled into Switzerland are the intentional resuulptio 
despite all difficulties, of this fruitful procedure. 

From a prisoners camp at Bergen Belsen there recently came the 
rumor, that a typhus epidemic of larger proportions had broken out. 

I immediately sent the hygienist of the SR, Dr. Mrugrowski, there 
with his staff. It was a auestion of cases in the camp of shotted 
typhus which unfortunately occurs very frequently among people from 
the Bast, but the cases are to be regarded as under control, thanks 
to the best medical and modern methods. 

I have the conviction that, by eliminating demogogism and 
superficialities, despite all differences and in spite of most 
bloody wounds on all sides, wisdom and logic must prevail and at 
the same time the human heart and the spirit of helpfulness. 

It goes without saying that, just as I have done throughout all 
the past years in good times and bad, I shall gladly examine request 
which you transmit or communicate to me in the humanitarian sphere 
and, whenever it is at all possible, shall decide them generously. 

With my hearty greetings to your respected dear wife, to your 
children and especially to you, with old attachment, your (signed) 

H # Himmler. 11 

The second, also on SS Headquarters stationery and signed by 
Himmler 1 3 adjutant, R. Brandt, reads in part (in translation) as 

"Worthy and Dear Hr. Kersten, I can give you the very welcome 
news that the Reichfuhrer-SS intends to fulfill the requests which 
you expressed a few days ago." 

I am forwarding photostatic copies of the documents in question 
under secret despatch. The question of continuing indirect contacts 
of this nature is one regarding which I, as heretofore, would 
appreciate urgent instructions from the Department and War Refugee 
Board since Olsen and I are in agreement that such discussions are 
not without danger. In the past the principal merit of these 
disucssions has been the tine-gaining factor but the tempo of the 
war as well as the level to which this approach has reached suggest 
strongly that a basic policy and appropriate instructions are now 
most urgent. There is also the question of whether Storch should 
be permitted to go to Berlin. We are of the opinion based on our 
personal knowledge of Storch*s capabilities that it vould be most 
unwise for him to go unless accompanied by a topflight neutral 
thoroughly conversant with these problems who could dominate the 
discussions. This is apart from the over-all question of whether 
any such discussions should be held at all. 


- 924 - 



Distribution of true 
reading only by special 
arrangement. (SECRET W) 



The following for Johnson and Olsen from Department and War 
Refugee Board is WRB 344, and refers to your numbers 1186 of March 
28 and 1235 of April 3. 

Report forwarded in your 1186 greatly appreciated. 

Department and Board approve the continuation of discussions 
designed solely (repeat solely) to save the lives of Jews and other 
victims of enemy oppression by means of relief supplies or evacuation 
to safety. However, such discussions should be severed immediately 
if, in the opinion of Minister Johnson, they become political in 

Board and Department leave entirely to discretion of Minister* 
Johnson the question of continuing the indirect (repeat indirect) 
contacts already made and the ouestion of Storch's going to Berlin. 


April 7, 1945 
5 p.m. 



- 925 - 



LFG**1441 Stockholm 

Distribution of true Dated April 25, 1945 

reading only by special Rec*d 7:34 a.m. , 26th 

arrangement. (SECRET W) 

Secretary of State, 


1547, April 25, 8 p.m. (SECTION ONE OP TWO) 


Supplementing my 1235, of April 8, 8 p.m., and my 1186 of 
March 28, 8 p.m. 

Norbert Masur of local Mosaicszka for Forsamlingen and official 
of the Swedish section of the World Jewish Congress proceeded to 
Berlin on Thursday afternoon with Kersten for a discussion with 
Himmler on the Jewish problem. The trip was without incident and 
they were met in Berlin by Himmler* s assistant Schellenberg. The 
party proceeded to Kersten*s estate approximately 80 km outside of 
Berlin and were joined there by Himmler at approximately 2:30 v a.m. 

The discussion lasted until approximately 5 a.m., on Frictey at which 
time Himmler left. According to Masur, Himmler appeared in top form 
in resplendent uniform and discussed the Jewish problem in a formally 
pleasant and matter of fact manner. Masur stated his position as 
previously made clear to Kersten and Schellenberg; that he had no 
official status, hhd no authority to promise anything and was simply 
a private Jew expressing the fears of all his people for the ultimate 
fate of the Jews remaining in Germany. 

Himmler reviewed the historical development of anti-Semitism in 
Europe and uarticularly the efforts of his party to remove the 
Jewish problem from the Reich. He reminded Masur that he himself 
(Himmler) had pressed the policy of removing Jews from Germany 
without violence and that he in 1935 had formed an organization to 
foster the migration of Jews out of Germany. He spoke with consider¬ 
able length and bitterness of the extent to which the Allies had 
propagandized German atrocities. He mentioned specifically Poland 
and Russia. With respect to ^oland Himmler stated that atrocity 
stories concerning crematoria were vicious propaganda since the 
crematoria were the only means the German authorities could cope 
with rapidly spreading typhus epidemic. He was particularly bitter 
concerning Allied propaganda during the past few days on the concen¬ 
tration camps at Bergen Belsen and Buchenwald. He pointed out that 
these two camps and their inmates had been left intact to the Allies 
at his own command and that all he w r as getting in return was Allied 
horror stories. 

- 926 - 

Masur raised with Himmler the following major points: 

One. That Jews should remain in their present camp and that 
they should not be subjected to the further physical deterioration 
of being moved from place to place. 

Two. That permission would be granted to evacuate Jews to 
neutral countries whenever possible. 

Three. That the most humane care possible be given the Jews 
until the canros fell into Allied hands/ 


- 927 - 


Distribution of true 
reading only by special 
arrangement. (S2CRET-Vrt 


Dated'April 25, 1945 
Rec*d 11:10 p.m. 

Secretary of State 

1547, April 25 , 8 p.m., (SECTION TWO) 

Himmler and Schellenberg stated that there had been about 
50,000 Jews in Bergen-Belsen and 6,000 in Buchenwald. They said 
there were an additional 20,000 in I^authausen Beilinz, 20,000 
Jewesses in Ravensbrueck and about 25,000 Jev/s in the Resienstadt. 
In addition there were several smaller concentration camps in 
southern German;/ and around Innsbruck. 

Himmler made the following specific promises: 

One. The Jews interned in TTorway (about 50) would be re¬ 
leased immediately and escorted to the Swedish border. 

Two. 1,000 Jewish women in Ravensbrueck would be released 
immediately and permitted to come to Sweden. According to latest 
information these women are in fact being transported through 
Denmark by lorries of the Swedish Red Cross and are expected to 
arrive tomorrow. 

Three. Certain lffets of Dutch Jews In the Resienstadt would 
be released but there appears to be no hope of evacuating then. 

Four. Himmler gave only a half promise that there would. be 
no further evacuation of Jews from camp to camp. 

Five. Red Cross organizations were promised free access to 
camps for delivery of food and medical supplies* 

Six. No Jews would be shot. 

Himmler emphasized in the strongest possible terms that no 
publicity should be given to the conference and that absolute 
secrecy must surround his liberation of any Jews. He referred to 
them all as "Poles” apparently mindful of his promise to Hitler 
that he would not release any more Jews. 

Masur gave an interesting description of Berlin — which he 
called a frightfully ruined and dead city. He was particularly im¬ 
pressed by the almost complete absence of soldiers. All roads 
were congested with refugees — many who had been walking for three 

- 928 - 

weeks from Eastern Germany* He also saw a long procession of 
prisoners "being moved from Oranienourg. Throughout his entire 
visit Allied planes were roaring overhead without a shot "being 
fired at then. 



- 929 - 





April 20, 1944 

American Consulate 


61, twentieth 

For Beckelman. 

1. British and American Governments have agreed in principle to 
transfer to UNRRA of responsibility for maintenance and operation of 
refugee center at Casablanca. 

2* Plans are to develop as soon as possible detailed agreement as 
to conditions and date of transfer. UNRRA proposes that British and 
American Governments should retain responsibility for transport of 
refugees to North Africa, UNRRA 1 s primary responsibility being for 
care and maintenance of refugees after arrival at North African sea¬ 
port. Responsibility for finding new places for their eventual 
settlement will remain unchanged by transfer although UNRRA is pre¬ 
pared to assist in repatriation of such persons as can are willing 
to return to countries of origin or of former residence. Expectation 
is that terms of transfer will also include some under standing as to 
supply arrangements as for example possible extension of present agree¬ 
ment with military for furnishing of supplies. Proposed date of 
transfer is some time after U. S. Congress appropriates money for 
UNRRA probably in four to six weeks. 

3* Take up with French authorities in Algiers the proposed transfer 
in order to obtain their consent pursuant to Article I, paragraph 2(a) 
of the UNRRA agreement, clearing with them also as to any discussions 
which you deem necessary with authorities in Morocco. British and 
American representatives in Algiers are being instructed to join with 
you in discussions with French whenever necessary although since 
French Committee is member of UNRRA initial approach should be made by 
you as UNRRA representative. We are informally notifying French 
representatives here of the above plans. 

4« Would appreciate your cabled recommendations as to terms to be in¬ 
cluded in understanding referred to in paragraph 2. Also cable results 
of your talks with French in line with paragraph 3. 



- 930 - 




FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: American Embassy, London 

DATED: February 22, 1944 

NUMBER: 1330 


It is requested that you advise the Director that the Department 
is in agreement with the views which he expressed, transmitted in 
your cable of December 30, 1943> No. 9066, and to state further that 
when the Fedhala Camp was first agreed upon it was the understanding 
of the United States and British Governments that the camp was to be 
a temporary one and that the responsibility of finding a more perman¬ 
ent place for the refugees accepted at Fedhala would fall to the Inter¬ 
governmental Committee. 

At that time it was envisaged that either the permanent migra¬ 
tion of the refugees might be organized or that they might be moved 
for the duration of the war to a more permanent place and thereafter 
to return to their countries of origin in Europe. 

These plans remain in effect, and it is anticipated that, in 
order that the foregoing objectives can be achieved as soon as pos¬ 
sible, close working relations may be established between the Fedhala 
administration and the London and/or Algiers office of the Inter¬ 
governmental Committee. Since the consent of the French Committee 
of National Liberation was based on the temporary stay of the refugees 
at Fedhala Camp, this is especially desirable. 

The foregoing message was repeated to Madrid for Beckelman's 




- 931 - 



FROM; Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: Amrep, Algiers 

DATED: April 25, 19M 

NUMBER: 1253 



From War Refugee Board to Ambassador Wilson and Ackermann 

We have just received report from Schwartz in Lisbon that French 
are refusing to accept in Lyautqy Sephardic Jews arriving in Spain 
after March 1, 1944* Report states further that 50 Sephardics now in 
Perpignan, France, awaiting admission into Spain and others still en 
route will be excluded under this ruling. 

Such a ruling would cause breakdown in plans to rescue Sephardic 
Jews still in Nazi territory, as Spanish Government will do nothing to 
rescue Sephardics unless assured that they will be removed from Spain 
soon after arrival. If after investigation you feel report is accur¬ 
ate, please take up at once with Comite representatives indicating 
unfortunate effects of such a step. 

Schwartz has advised Beckelman concerning matter. 

This is WRB Algiers Cable No. 












American Hi ••Ion, Algiers 
Secretary of State, Washington 
May 3, 1944 


following la Vo. 16 from Ackerman for WEB. 

The question of adnlsalon of additional Sephardic Jews had 
already been Informally discussed by me with a member of Ooaite 
prior to the arrival of your Algiers no. 5, dated April 25, 1944. 
Beckelman talked with Masslgll after your cable arrired and 
Masslgll replied that there would be no change In the original agree¬ 
ment providing for admission of 2000. This has been confirmed by 
us by note and we asked for reply to make the under standing certain 
and definite. 

Taking request to the french regarding admission of about 7^0 
Jews now in Italy to fedhala is being considered by AIHQ. I am 
requesting Robert Murphy and others concerned to consider relative 
priorities of further Sephardic Jews as the group in Italy plus 
refugees arriving soon from Spain will practically fill the quota. 
Please inform us how many more Sephardics might be rescued from 
occupied territory, if it is possible to do so. In order that 
Schwarts can inform to his information on the question, we 
have repeated the foregoing message to Lisbon as our cable no. 97. 




• \ 

- 933 - 




FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: Amrep, Algiers 

DATED: May 11, 1944 

NUMBER: 1428 



Please refer your No. 16 (Department 1 s No. 1453) of May 3rd. 

Tour prompt action in talcing up admission of Sephardic Jews to 
Camp Lyautey is appreciated. Please confirm our understanding that 
so long as total number of refugees in Camp Lyautey does not at any 
one time exceed 2,000, French will not object to entry of refugees 
merely because they arrived in Spain subsequent to March first. 

We are not able to give you information as to number of Sephar- 
dics who might be rescued from occupied territory. This information 
must come from Schwartz, and if you do not hear from him please advise 

We are inclined to believe that camp quota should not be filled 
by bringing Jews there from Italy. If we are able to bring more from 
Spain in the future this may put us in a position to encourage entry 
of refugees into Spain from occupied territory. For your information 
it i8 understood that many Jewish refugees in Southern Italy already 
have certificates entitling them to enter Palestine and the possibility 
of their being taken to Palestine should not be overlooked. As you 
probably know the British Government is presently admitting into Pal¬ 
estine Jewish refugees who reach Turkey. It is understood that more 
than twenty thousand refugees may still be admitted to Palestine under 
the terms of the White Paper. When you have investigated the matter 
please give us your views. 

This is WRB Cable to Algiers No. 8. 


- 934 - 




FROM: American Embassy, Madrid 

TO: Secretary of State, Washington 

DATED: June 22, 1944 

HUMS EH: 2172 



The following has been repeated to Algiers. 

You are informed that on June 21, there sailed from Cadis en 
route to Fedhale a group of 573 stateless refugees. 



- 935 - 



MMS-196 Plain 

London \ 

DATED: July 17, 1944 
REC'D: 3 p.m. 

Secretary of State, 


5637, seventeenth 


Sir Herbert Emerson has furnished the Embassy with a copy of a 
cable received by him from Gouvemeur Valentip Smith Intergovernmental 
Committee representative in Algiers transmitting a suggestion that 
the refugee camp at Fedhala be closed. Smith says the camp now holds 
600 persons, that because of improving international situation no 
more large contingents are to be expected and that costly maintenance 
of organization to care for 2000 persons is not Justified. Local man¬ 
agement of camp recommends closing it and transferring the 600 inmates 
to existing camps in Egypt and Palestine and to countrios willing to 
receive them. 

Emerson has replied that ouestion of the future of the camp is 
one primarily for American and British Governments in consultation 
with French authorities; that Intergovernmental Committee has no in¬ 
structions to give but feels that decision to close the camn now 
would be premature. 


- 936 - 




FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: American Embassy, London 

DATED: August 31, 1944 

NUMBER: 7017 


Please refer to your 6289 of August 6 concerning Beokelman's 
proposal to close Camp Lyautey. 

Inasmuch as Camp Lyautey Is still under the Joint Jurisdiction 
of the British and American Governments. (Department's 6456 August 15 
to Reed from EEA) Beokelman's proposal must of necessity be passed 
upon by the two Governments. 

It is the United States Government's view that now would be a 
highly inopportune time to close Camp Lyautey. Beokelman's state¬ 
ment that few newcomers are expected at Lyautey indicates that he is 
unaware of the Worthy offer (your 5956 of July 27 and our 6096 of 
August 2). The closing of Camp Lyautey at a time when the British 
and American Governments have accepted the Hungarian proposal to 
permit certain categories of Jews to emigrate from Hungary might well 
prove tragic in its consequences, for in the eyes of the Hungarian 
Government it might easily throw open to question the sincerity of 
the British and American Governments in accepting the Hungarian 
Government's offer. Obviously all possible havens must be held 
available for any eventuality that may occur from accepting the 
Hungarian Government's offer. 

It would be appreciated if you would make known to the British 
Government and the IGC the United States Government's view concerning 
Beckelman's proposal to close Camp lyautey at this time. This cable 
has been cleared with the Department, FEA and WRB. 


- 937 - 



THOM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: American Embassy, Paris 

DATED: November 15, 1944 

NUMBER: 438 


Of more urgency at the present time than it was in August is the 
matter which is taken up in instruction from the Department to Algiers 
dated August 24, No. 213. Should it become possible to rescue any of 
the persons from Germany to whom reference is made in Resolution XXIV, 
the facilities of the Pedhala camp are urgently needed for use. There 
is no other destination available for these people at the present time. 
It is expected that these individuals will be released into Switzerland 
and from there will travel, either directly from Prance or by way of 
Spain and Prance, to the Pedhala camp, as transportation can be arranged 
under the auspices of the War Refugee Board, if an exchange involving 
these people can be arranged. We would appreciate it, therefore, if 
you would urgently take up this matter with the Provisional Government 
of Prance and secure its consent in principle to the admittance into 
Prench territory from Switzerland of any persons included in such a 
movement, to their travel to a point of exit on the frontier of Spain, 
tr to Marseille, or to any other port which may be designated, and to 
their entrance into Morocco for accommodation at Pedhala camp, subse¬ 

If Reber would take up the question with 9BAXP and secure agree¬ 
ment in principle to this kind of movement, along with a statement of 
requirements of SHAEP, it would likewise be appreciated. Screening of 
these people, it should be pointed out, cannot take place until they 
reach Prench territory; also that authorities in Germany who have the 
custody of the camps where they are held will apparently select the 
individuals for exchange. Jewish intellectuals from Poland comprise 
the majority of the individuals concerned, who can, it is presumed, be 
identified promptly as they are relativewell known in such circles. 

The Government of the United States and the British Government 
have seated that they are opposed to the closing of the Pedhala camp, 
which still has definite purposes to serve; this for the information 
of Reber and the Embassy. 



- 933 - 




Distribution of true 
reading only by special 
arrangement. (Secret W) 

Secretary of State 

2371, July 12, 6 p.m. 


Reference my 1937, June 10, 9 p.m. 

In connection with proposed establishment of refugee camp near 
Philippeville reply has now been received from French authorities 
accepting in principle Allied proposal for establishment of Buch 
camp and suggesting the setting up of a commission composed of repre¬ 
sentatives of the Inter-Allied General Staff, of representatives of 
the FCNLP and eventually a representative of Yugoslav Government, 
which would establish without delay rules and regulations for adminis¬ 
tration of the refugees for duration of their stay in North Africa 
and establish conditions under which Allied authorities will coordinate 
with French authoritiee all arrangements necessary in connection with 
lodging, feeding and maintenance of such refugees. 


DATED July 12, 1944 
REC'D 11:30 p.m. 


- 939 - 



FROM: Secretary of State, Washington 

TO: Amembassy, London 

DATED: March 25, 1944, 5 P-nu 

NUMBER: 2292 


Departments telegram of January 14, 1944 No. 371 is referred to 

One of the most pressing and immediate problems before the War 
Refugee Board is the finding of havens where refugees may remain for 
the duration of the war. 

In the opinion of the Department and the Board, Cyrenaica and 
Tripolitania might be suitable for this purpose. 

Ever since the Bermuda Conference, at which it was specifically 
recommended that admission of refugees to Cyrenaica be considered by 
the British, Cyrenaica and Tripolitania have been under consideration 
as havens. Thereafter, when agreement was reached to consider a 
refuge camp in North Africa, the President in a message to Prime 
Minister Churchill commented on his interest in the possibility of 
using Cyrenaica and Tripolitania as havens of refuge. The suggestion 
was again made to the British informally in the manner described in 
the aforementioned cable as recently as January-of this year. No 
decision has apparently yet been taken in this important matter although 
many months have passed. It is requested that you reopen the matter at 
once and raise with the British Government the question of using Cyre¬ 
naica and Tripolitania as havens of refuge, subject of course, to the 
later approval of the Combined Chiefs of Staff. The consent of the 
British should be secured before any approach is made to the Combined 
Chiefs of Staff. You should inform the British Government that this 
Government is prepared to share the responsibility for financing the 
establishment and maintenance of camps in Cyrenaica and Tripolitania, 
including the cost of transporting the refugees to these camps. We 
are confident that part of this cost may be borne by private refugee 
agencies if it later seems desirable. The transportation problem can 
be worked out cooperatively between the British Government and our¬ 

With respect to Cyrenaica and Tripolitania a division of obliga¬ 
tions and responsibilities between the two Governments, similar to 
the case of the transfer of refugees from Spain to North Africa, can 
be worked out. 

It is extremely important that havens of refuge be established 
in Cyrenaica and Tripolitania. The War Refugee Board is convinced 

- 940 - 

that there is a real opportunity for bringing many refugees out of 
occupied areas, especially from areas contiguous to Turkey and the 
Black Sea. The Board is determined to do everything it can to rescue 
refugees in as large numbers as possible, as you have previously been 
informed. Once these refugees are evacuated to Turkey it is important 
that areas be found to which they can be removed expeditiously. 

For this purpose camps in Cyrenaica and Tripolitania could be 
used. Also such camps would facilitate the escape of refugees from 
other areas. For instance, refugees from Southern Italy can be re¬ 
moved from Camps there to Cyrenaica and Tripolitania, thus making 
room for other refugees who are successful in escaping from Italian 
occupied areas. 

It is requested that you give your urgent and personal attention 
to this matter and inform the Department of the progress of your 
conversations at the earliest possible moment.